Tackling hate crime was the focus of a conference held in Hatfield.

National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which ran from October 14 to October 21, aims to encourage authorities, key partners and communities affected by hate crime to work together to tackle local hate crime incidents across the UK.

To mark the week, Hertfordshire’s Hate Crime Partnership Board hosted a conference at the Fielder Centre in Hatfield on Monday, October 16.

The all-day event was opened by Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Akehurst, who welcomed the delegates.

Chief Inspector James Lacey, the constabulary’s lead for hate crime, provided a county overview and presented the key priorities in Hertfordshire’s hate crime strategy.

He said: “We believe many hate crimes go unreported and we want to increase the number of victims reporting offences against them so we can do something about it, to better understand the scale of the problem, and ensure victims can receive support from dedicated hate crime officers.

"This event was really important to network and speak with our partner organisations and local communities to understand how we can keep Hertfordshire a safe and enjoyable place to live.”




The conference explored what a hate crime is, how people can report incidents and how the county can support victims.

During the day, there was an opportunity to watch a film which looked at a hate crime case study and saw the case progress from when it was first reported all the way through to trial.

The delegates got to play the role of the judge and gave their verdict based on the information given to them.

David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: “It is vital that the message is given loud and clear that Hertfordshire Constabulary is there to uphold the law for everyone in our society.

Those from minoritised groups who fear their concerns may not listened to should be in no doubt that they will be listened to and appropriate action will be taken.

"The sheer number of people at this conference from many partner agencies underlines all the hard work which is being undertaken to tackle this issue.”

Reporting hate crime

You can report hate crime online or speak to an operator in Herts Police's Force Communications Room via the police's online web chat.

You can call the non-emergency number 101. In an emergency dial 999.

For more information about where to report hate crime visit the Herts Against Hate website.

Find out how to report hate crime at www.hertsagainsthate.org/herts-against-hate.aspx

More than 90 people attended the conference, including representatives from the police, Crown Prosecution Service, NHS, Hertfordshire County Council, and law students from the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.

Mutahir Ahmed, District Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern, said: “Hate crime is truly abhorrent and has a significant detrimental impact on victims and the wider community.

The CPS is fully committed to tackling hate crime and takes such offending very seriously. Our prosecutors are trained on hate crime and regularly quality check our cases to provide feedback and ensure we deliver the best quality service.

“We continue to work closely with the police and other partners to improve outcomes for victims and to engage with our communities to build greater confidence and reassurance.”

Councillor Morris Bright MBE, cabinet member for community safety and public health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We take hate crime very seriously and are committed to making Hertfordshire a place where everyone feels safe and has the opportunity to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

"This conference demonstrated the huge commitment of public sector organisations in Hertfordshire to tackling hate crime in all its forms.”

Hate crimes include assaults, threats or acts of vandalism, or any other crime committed against someone because of their:

  • Disability
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion or belief
  • Transgender identity
  • Sexual orientation

Hertfordshire Constabulary has specialist hate crime officers to tackle and challenge these incidents, educate people, and support those who have been affected.