PEOPLE in Exeter are being encouraged to spread the message of HOPE when it comes to tackling hate crime in the city.

National Hate Crime Awareness Week (HCAW) got underway on Saturday, October 14, with members of Exeter Community Safety Partnership supporting a range of activities across the city.

The main objective of HCAW is to encourage statutory agencies, key partners, and communities affected by hate crime to work together to tackle local hate crime issues.

The week acts as a starting point to launch a year of action to spread a message of HOPE:

• H - raising hate crime awareness

• O - improving operational responses to hate crime

• P - preventing hate crime

• E - engage communities to be involved in the process.

This year’s focus is on highlighting faith hate crime and standing in solidarity with those affected by antisemitism.

National Hate Crime Awareness Week is a commissioned charity, and more information can be found on the National Hate Crime Awareness Week website: .

What is a Hate Crime?

Any crime perceived by the victim or anyone else to have been motivated by hostility or prejudice based on the victim’s actual or perceived personal identity.

There are five nationally monitored hate crime strands that fall within legislation, these are:

Disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, and transgender identity.

Devon and Cornwall Police also monitor sex or gender (misogyny/misandry) as an additional strand, however this is not included within legislative framework.

Diverse Communities Sergeant for North, East and West Devon, Mike Blackwell-Brown, said: “Hate crime targets the very core of someone’s identity, often with the true impact being concealed.

“Exeter is a progressive city, but it is not immune to hatred. We must continue to do more to raise awareness of prejudice and hostility, and support communities to feel confident to report it. In committing to this we can make our city a more vibrant and inclusive place.

“This year digital billboards will be illuminated throughout the city 24/7 to help spread the message to as many people as possible. NHS partners will also be joining us to support this across their settings. A range of activities will be taking place at the University of Exeter tomorrow, Tuesday, October 17, and across the city throughout the week.”

Cllr Laura Wright, Exeter City Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Councillor with responsibility for Community Safety and Anti-Social Behaviour, said: “Everyone in Exeter has a duty to look out for incidents of hate crime and report them when they occur. We should never just walk away from it or ignore it.

“Exeter is a city of fair-minded and progressive thinkers who don’t want to see hate crime. But we can always do better and play our own part in helping to stamp hate crime out, so I hope that the National Hate Crime Awareness Week activities will give us all confidence to recognise a hate crime and to report it appropriately.” 

Devon and Cornwall Police is committed to tackling hate crime through its own Zero Tolerance to Hate Crime Campaign, which focuses on:

• Increasing knowledge and understanding of hate crime amongst communities

• Promoting reporting methods including third party reporting

• Explaining how the police respond to a victim of hate crime

• Helping individuals understand how the police deal with those individuals who commit hate crime.

There are several ways to report hate crime to Devon and Cornwall Police –

Emergency telephone – 999

Non-emergency telephone - 101

Online at Report hate crime | Devon and Cornwall Police ( .