Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from October 11 and Sussex Police is running web chats.
The police are supporting ongoing work towards increasing the confidence of victims to report hate crime, challenging the prejudice and hostility that fuels hate crime, supporting victims, their families and communities and dealing with perpetrators appropriately.
Eastbourne people can get involved with a number of activities that will be going on during the week, including asking questions via two web chats and tuning into updates on social media.
Sussex Police Hate Crime Sergeant, Peter Allan, said, “I understand that some of the language we use around hate crime is confusing. People don’t know whether to report the behaviour they have been subjected to or not.
“People ask themselves: Is it serious enough? Will the police be interested? Will I be treated sympathetically? Will I be subject to retribution? Will I have to go to court? Will I be happy with any criminal justice outcome?
“My simple response to people is this: if you have been subjected to behaviour that makes you feel sad, hurt, upset, nervous or vulnerable and that you were targeted because of your disability, sexual orientation, faith or religion, race or gender identity rather than the person across the street, then you should report it to the police.
“We will record the incident, treat you and your concerns sympathetically and professionally and record it as a hate crime.
“Hate Crime Awareness Week is an opportunity for us to raise awareness of hate crime and the damage it causes to individuals and communities. I will be tweeting the details of all hate crimes that are reported to us, hosting two online web chats, launching an initiative to tackle homophobia in football and sharing the experiences of some victims of hate crime and those who support them. All of this will aim to de-mystify some of the language and misunderstandings around hate crime.
“We will also be launching our Hate Crime Ambassadors initiative by appealing for key members of our communities who will act as points of contact across Sussex for those concerned about hate crime.”
Hate crime can be reported by calling 01273 470101, or 999 in an emergency.
For details of the web chats visit www.sussex.police.uk/whats-happening/hate-crime-awareness-week.