Stamping out hate crime

Mo ShabirI have been in the Police service for nearly ten years and, unfortunately I have been a victim of hate crime numerous times.

I have been called names by members of the public due to my ethnicity, the fact that I am Scottish and my religious beliefs.

I would be lying if I said it does not affect me; it does play on your mind and you realise that you are different.

But, there are various support channels available here at Bedfordshire Police, and I have managed to deal with these issues and not let them affect me in an adverse way.

Bedfordshire Police has a zero tolerance approach to any type of hate crime. We are here to help.

I understand how it feels to be called names due to your race, origin and religious belief.

But a person can be a victim of hate crime for a number of other reasons as well, which can include their lack of belief, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Sometimes victims feel guilty, like it is their fault.  I would like to assure you that you are not in the wrong; the offenders, who can be insecure or just lack awareness on a topic, are the people in the wrong.

Victims of hate crime can feel isolated and lose trust in the general community. By turning a blind eye to this time of crime, we allow them to feel like this. I would urge members of the public to take a positive stance against any type of hate crime.  If you witness it, please report it.

In order to build a more cohesive society which celebrates and respects difference, it is important that together we take a stance to stamp out hate crime in Bedfordshire.

The force is also in the process of developing Hate Crime Champions who understand the issues that victims of hate crime face.

This will give victims that bit of extra service and care, and hopefully will provide that extra support to encourage a victim of hate crime to report the incident.

Hate crime has no place in our communities and together we can stamp it out.

Sergeant Mohammed Shabir has written this blog post about his experience of being a victim of hate crime, as part of  a week-long campaign to raise awareness of hate crime which aims to tackle offending and encourage reporting of this destructive crime that has a huge impact on victims, their families and communities as a whole

If you have experienced hate crime, or have witnessed a hate crime, please report it. In an emergency, dial 999. For all other incidents, dial 101.

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