Uttlesford District Council moves to frontline in battle against hate crime


- Credit: Archant

Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has become a Hate Incident Reporting Centre (HIRC) – providing victims and witnesses of hate incidents a place to make a report should they not want to go to the police directly.

Essex Police have identified that some people may feel uncomfortable going to a police station to report an incident, so HIRCs have been set up in communities to provide an alternative, safe way for victims and witnesses to make their voices heard.

Six members of staff at the council have been trained to receive hate incident reports and have successfully completed an accredited training session run by Essex Police.

The UDC officers have been provided with the knowledge and information to recognise a hate incident or hate crime, take an effective report, and provide advice and support.

Cllr Alastair Walters, cabinet member for community safety at UDC, said: “As an accredited Hate Incident Reporting Centre, this council will be able to to provide constructive support for victims and witnesses of hate incidents, and work with our local police to help tackle this important issue.”

Chief Inspector Richard Melton, from Essex Police, said: “The aim of the HIRC is to make it easier for members of the public to report hate incidents.

“Uttlesford District Council is a safe and accessible place and therefore people may find it more comfortable to report crime whilst being in familiar surroundings.”

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Training has also been rolled out to members of staff at the Uttlesford Citizens Advice Bureau and students from the Saffron Walden County High School – meaning there will be 12 hate crime ambassadors in total within the district.

The CAB has become an accredited HIRC, while the school ambassadors will be able to direct people to a HIRC or assist those reporting the incidents.

Drop in for support to the HIRC at Uttlesford District Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4ER between 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, appointments are available by calling 01799 510510.

Incidents can also be reported to Essex Police by telephoning 101 for non-urgent cases or 999 in an emergency. To report online go to report-it.org.uk or find details of hate incident reporting centres at stopthehate.org.uk/hircs