POLICE and CAB have joined forces to highlight hate crime across the area.
As part of its continuing drive to increase the awareness and reporting of hate crime, Sussex Police has teamed up with the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in a pilot that will see three centres in West Sussex becoming hate incident reporting centres.
Staff at the Bognor Regis, Chichester and Littlehampton centres are attending hate crime awareness sessions, led by the force hate crime sergeant, Peter Allan, during October.
The sessions will cover what a hate crime is, how to report a hate crime, what happens after the report has been made and the input victims have in that process.
Sergeant Allan said: “I am keen that victims of hate crime have as many means of reporting hate crime as possible.”
After the sessions, it is hoped staff in the centres will be better able to recognise when a client, who may have contacted the centre for a totally separate reason, has been the victim of a hate crime.
They will, if the client requests, be able to report the incident on their behalf or support them while they make the report.
Carol Groves, chief executive of the Arun and Chichester CAB, said: “ I am really pleased that our staff will be attending these sessions so that they can better support our clients.
“Client queries cover many different topics and I’m sure some of them involve hate crime.”
At the first session in Bognor held on October 22 centre staff were presented with certificates by Chief Inspector Pip Taylor, Arun District Commander, she said: “Not everyone recognises when they have been a victim of hate crime.
“I am sure that this pilot scheme with West Sussex CABs will enhance the support they already provide to their many clients, and through that we will be able to support victims and hold perpetrators to account for what is the most personal of crimes.”
The Arun and Chichester CAB had more than 12,500 client contacts between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 which included through the door for first contact, and this includes face to face, advice line, and emails.
If you wish to find out more about the support CAB can provide visit www.arunchichestercab.org.uk.