Reports of hate crime have more than doubled in West Mercia overall in the last five years. To tackle this rise, Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion is continuing to fund Victim Support’s Hate Crime Engagement and Awareness Project ‘I am ME!’ until March 2024.
Having initially launched in October 2022 as a 12-month project with £82,000 of investment from the PCC, the project has received an overwhelming positive response. Over the past year, 30 awareness, training and outreach programmes have been delivered reaching nearly 500 people with the aim of helping individuals recognise and understand the impact of hate crime.
The impact of the project’s work is already being felt, as each area of West Mercia has seen a drop in the number of hate crime reports due to the contribution of the programmes being embedded in communities.
Telford and Wrekin has seen the biggest drop of hate crime reports at 36%, with South Worcestershire having the lowest reduction at 17% in the past year. However, many hate crime offences still go unreported, and the PCC is taking proactive action to ensure victims and survivors are put first, as part of his Safer West Mercia plan.
Police and Crime Commissioner 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.
“By extending the project by a further five months, awareness of the impact hate crime has on its victims will grow further across West Mercia as well as more people feeling valued and empowered to report hate crimes to West Mercia Police.”
To report a hate crime, visit https://www.westmercia.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us-beta/contact-us/ or call 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.