Hate crime continues to be underreported, says top Derry engagement officer

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A senior Derry police officer has urged victims of hate crime to come forward as the phenomenon continues to be underreported in the city.

Chief Inspector Paul McCracken, the PSNI’s leading engagement officer in the city, said: “We know that hate crime is underreported and we know that there are a variety of reasons why victims and witnesses are reticent about coming forward.

“Here in Derry City and Strabane we want people to have the confidence to come to us when they are being victimised and to know they will be supported.”

He made the comments as police in Derry City and Strabane marked National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2017 (Oct 14-21) by reminding victims and the public that help and support is available from a range of organisations.

“There are a number of initiatives happening this week across the District involving many of the groups and organisations who support victims of hate crime aimed at raising awareness of the issues and encouraging reporting.

“Hate crime in all its form is wrong. To help stop it, we need people to report it.”

The first points of contact for victims are option 2 on the 101 non-emergency number or the independent charity Crimestoppers, which can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111.

Alternatively, victims can also report hate crime online via the PSNI website, www.psni.police.uk/crime/hate-crime/hate-crime-reporting; the True Vision website, www.report-it.org.uk/home; or through the independent charity Crimestoppers, https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online.