Police and Fire Service join forces to fight hate crime

Police and Fire Service join forces to fight hate crime

20 February 2013

OFFICERS from Birmingham East have been working with West Midlands Fire Service to make it easier to report hate crime to police.

Hay Mills Fire Station recently became a ‘Hate Crime Third Party Reporting Centre’ which enables victims to visit the station and get advice on how to report hate crime to West Midlands Police in a secure environment.

Victims will be able to make an appointment at the centre as well as get advice from trained staff.

During December and January, 10,000 leaflets were distributed at the St Andrew’s retail park in Small Heath to promote the launch of the reporting centre. Local businesses such as Toys-R-Us and Outfit also helped to distribute the leaflets.

The next stage of the project is to train West Midlands Fire Service staff at other fire stations in hot spot areas of hate crime, so that they can become third party reporting centres.

Superintendent Angie Whitaker from Birmingham East Local Policing Unit, said: “I believe that the project shows yet again the great partnership between West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire Service.

“It is really important to us that people feel comfortable reporting hate crime to us. Third party reporting centres are really important because they offer another way that hate crime can be reported.”

Firefighter Karl Smith, of Purple Watch, Hay Mills Fire Station, who has led on the project, said: “We can provide a safe, welcoming, neutral environment to let victims take the first step in reporting hate crime and getting help.

“We really welcome the opportunity to work with colleagues from West Midlands Police on this initiative. It’s yet another way for us to work with and support the communities we serve.”

Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by an offender’s hatred of someone because of their: race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

Hay Mills Fire Station was recently nominated for a Diamond Award and although they didn’t win they have been awarded an LPU award to recognise the hate crime work they have done.

For more information on hate crime, or to report an incident online, visit: http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/crime-reduction/hate-crime/index.asp

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