Fears of a spike in post-Brexit hate crimes increase demand for more reporting centres

There are calls to set up new specialised hate crime reporting centres across the county amid fears of increasing numbers of hate crimes in the wake of the UKs anticipated exit from the EU.

Proposals for the creation of new “third party reporting centres” where people can report hate crimes in Cambridgeshire are to be discussed by Cambridgeshire County Council.

According to a report from the council, hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that persons disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or transgender identity.

This can be committed against a person or property.

A report, which will go before the councils communities and partnership committee on October 18, says that, while Cambridgeshire has “reflected national trends” of increasing levels of hate crime, there has been an overall reduction in the amount of recorded crime over the last year.

The report says this is “likely owing to a reduction in terrorism activity and less focus on migration”.

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The report reads: “The HMIC (Her Majestys Inspectorate of Constabulary) has warned of a real possibility that Britains exit from the European Union next year will see a rise in hate crimes and partnership activity is being focused on measures to counter this.”

One of the measures is to look at the distribution of “third party reporting centres” in the county.

Currently, there are 22 reporting centres in Fenland and six in Peterborough, but none in Huntingdon, South Cambridgeshire, East Cambridgeshire, or Cambridge city.

Following a review, it has been proposed that Cambridgeshire County Council takes the lead in identifying one location to be properly staffed and publicised in each part of the county.

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Huntingdon news

It is recommended that fewer, but better equipped centres would lead to significant improvement after the report claims it is felt “”inconsistent coverage” is leading to poor uptake from victims.

As well as this, the role of a dedicated Hate Crime Champion PCSO has been formalised and will be in place on both the north and south of the county.

Cambridgeshire County Council now also has a nominated head of community resilience and integration who oversees a team of community connectors whose role is to work in support of all community groups to “improve cohesion”.

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