A new 24-hour telephone helpline has been launched to assist victims of hate crime in North Yorkshire.
Police have seen a 21 per cent rise increase in reports of hate crime in the county in the past two years.
Now North Yorkshire Police (NYP) has set up the hotline as part of a campaign to tackle the issue.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of people who suffer from hate crime far exceeds the number of reports that are made, and we want to change that,” said Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, who is leading the force wide response.
“Part of the reason for low reporting is that many people aren’t sure exactly what a hate crime is, or where and how to report it.
“We want to spread the word that name-calling, verbal threats, graffiti, bullying and damage to personal property doesn’t have to be tolerated, and that victims of such behaviour can call the Stop Hate helpline to report what has happened and get advice on what to do.”
Hate crime is defined as any act of hostility or violence which is directed at a person because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief.
The Stop Hate UK helpline is available on 0800 138 1625 and is staffed by trained operators 24 hours a day.
An online chat service is also available on www.stophateuk.org/talk-to-us.