TWO hate crime incident reporting centres have been launched in Thurrock.
Essex Police launched the scheme at the annual general meeting of Thurrock Independent Advisory Group to Essex Police – made up of community and faith leaders.
Reporting centres will be at Thurrock Coalition, on the ground floor of the Beehive West Street Grays, and at Marisco Hall in Chadwell St Mary.
They are deliberately community venues where people can report hate incidents and hate crimes, either as a victim or witness, without directly involving the police.
Hate crime ambassadors have completed training courses and received accreditation. Their certificates were presented by Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Nick Alston at the meeting held at The Sikh Temple.
Mr Alston said: “I applaud Thurrock Council, the Thurrock IAG and Essex Police for sending out the clear and strong message that hate crime will not be tolerated in our communities.
“I believe the new reporting centres and ambassadors are an important step in increasing the confidence of victims in reporting hate crime and ensuring it is tackled and stopped.”
Michelle Cunningham, Thurrock Community Safety Partnership manager, said: “Essex Police and the Community Safety Partnership take hate crime seriously.
“Hate crime is defined as crime motivated by prejudice due to race, religion or belief; gender identity; sexual orientation; of disability.
“We want all incidents reported to ensure victims and the community are supported and that appropriate action is taken against offenders.”
It is expected that more reporting centres will be set up in time.
Incidents can be reported to Essex Police by telephoning 101 for non-urgent cases or 999 in an emergency. To report online go to www.report-it.org.uk or find details of hate incident reporting centres at: www.stopthehate.rg.uk/hircs