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As part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion is reiterating his commitment to protecting all communities across West Mercia.

Across West Mercia, reporting of hate crime is reducing, with a lower number of cases seen from August and September 2022 to the same time this year. However, communities are still feeling the devastating impact of hate crime, with 64% of hate crime cases relating to race and sexual orientation the second highest reported at 19%.

Although reported cases are dropping, the PCC is still taking a proactive stance in ensuring the public are aware of the impact of hate crime. Therefore, the PCC is continuing to raise the profile of Victim Service’s ‘i am ME!’ hate crime awareness project, which the PCC funds to the tune of £80,000.

PCC John Campion said: “As part of my Safer West Mercia Plan, I am committed to protecting all lives and preventing the damage done to people and communities because of these heinous acts.

“Hate crime is a societal issue across the UK and I am determined that here in West Mercia, the public are made aware of their own behaviour and the behaviour of those around them to ensure everyone feels safe and protected in their community.”

‘i am ME’s’ Hate Crime Training and Engagement Officer Matthew Cole said: “The ‘I am ME!’ Project is in existence thanks to the funding we’ve been granted from Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion. It’s through this funding we have been able to raise awareness about hate crime in schools, partner organisations, emergency service teams, private business, and a whole host of community organisations.

“Without this funding, I have no doubt that hate crime and hateful behaviours would increase. But the hope is through education and raising awareness we can create a more tolerant and inclusive community around us so that we all feel safe. This is important as we all have the potential to be a victim of a hate crime.”

To find out more about the impact of hate crime on communities across West Mercia, you can hear more from Matt by following the link, here.

To report a hate crime ring 999 if there is a threat to life or report online or through the 101 service.