Residents of Barking and Dagenham who have been the victim or witness of a hate crime will soon be able to report the incident directly to a dedicated helpline commissioned by the local Council.
The aim of the 24-hour helpline, which goes live on 31 May, is to encourage anyone who has been called names, physically hurt, or had their property damaged because of another person’s prejudice towards their race, faith, age, sexuality, gender or disability to file a report.
The helpline provided by the charity ‘Stop Hate UK’ and is available for anyone to report incidents, and allows them to access immediate advice and support. The number to call is 0800 138 1625.
All reports are dealt with by specialist officers who will work with the victim to prevent further victimisation. The victim will be given the choice as to whether the report is shared with the Police.
From the end of May members of the public will also be able to report directly to the Council by phoning 020 8215 3010 (8am – 8pm), or by talking to a member of Council front desk staff at the One Stop Shop.
Councillor Val Rush, executive member for crime reduction and community safety, said: “Hate Crimes are deeply upsetting for those who experience them and have an untold impact on the community. But the crimes remain largely unreported.
“By providing the 24-hour helpline alongside the other ways of reporting we are improving the quality of life for people by giving the public choices about how they incidents.
“People do not have to put up with being abused verbally or physically. They are not alone. We will take their complaints seriously and support them to achieve a good outcome.”