Katy Bourne: Hate crime will not be tolerated

Katy Bourne
Katy Bourne
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Sussex’s police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne on the rise of hate crimes since the Brexit vote.

The news that hate crimes reached record levels in Sussex in the months after the EU referendum was hard to stomach.

Reports last week revealed a 32% increase in hate crimes between July and September compared with the previous three months.

The total of 385 incidents was the highest for a three-month period since comparable records began in April 2012.

No one should be singled out and victimised because of their race, faith, sexuality, gender or disability.

That’s why my office invested in the Self Evident app, a bespoke hate crime reporting app that aims to make it easier to record and report all strands of hate crime in Sussex.

The app was an existing piece of technology developed by social enterprise group Just Evidence. My funding enabled more custom-built software to be added so that victims of hate crime can now send a report straight to victim support services without the need to report to police which we know can be an inhibitor.

The modified app empowers victims by allowing them to choose the kind of support they want to receive: ultimately, it puts the victim in the driving seat.

Another benefit is the Self Evident app’s ability to record and store video, audio and photo evidence which is particularly useful for witnesses of hate crime. The aim is to help communities and individuals feel empowered to tackle it and show it won’t be tolerated.

My communications team won a national award for their #NoPlaceForHate campaign last year, joining forces with Brighton Pride and several pubs and breweries, including Wetherspoons and Harveys, to encourage people to download it.

To find out more and to download the app, please visit www.justevidence.org