VICTIMS of hate crimes in the borough can now get access to the help and support they need from a booklet.
Northumbria Police and Safer North Tyneside Partnership have launched the pocket sized guide, ‘Helping victims of hate crime’.
It explains that hate crime ranges from prejudicial or hateful comments to damage to property and even physical violence.
Community support co-ordinator Afshin Malekian said: “This new guide will be provided to all victims of hate crime in North Tyneside and also made freely available at police stations and North Tyneside’s Mosque and Cultural Centre in Whitley Bay.
“We understand victims can feel apprehensive about reporting hate crimes and I see this booklet as something which will provide them with the confidence and reassurance they need to come forward and get the help they need.”
The guide also explains to victims that if they don’t want to report the offence to the police, they can report it using a third party without revealing their personal details.
Victims are reassured that police will only investigate with their consent.
Hate crime incidents have shown a small reduction over the last year, down from 122 incidents reported during 2009-10, to 116 last year.
In both periods the majority were racial.
Inspector Tony Blacklock said: “Our priority is to help the victim in the best way we can.
“We will always take into account their wishes when we investigate these incidents and would always ask victims to report offences to us so we can offer them the help and support.”
Mayor Linda Arkley added: “I want North Tyneside to continue to be a place where residents and visitors feel safe, and thankfully incidents of hate crime in North Tyneside are relatively low.
“This gives a clear message that hate crime, in whatever form, will not be tolerated, and we’ll continue to work with Northumbria Police to ensure perpetrators are dealt with.”
Anyone who would like a booklet can also contact Afshin by e-mailing email@example.com or call (0191) 295 7331.