Northumberland County Council is giving its full support to the national Hate Crime Awareness Week.
It runs from tomorrow to Saturday, October 17, and aims to tackle hate-crime issues by raising awareness of what it is and how to respond to it, encourage reporting and promote local support services and resources.
In Northumberland, staff from the Public Protection department have been invited to provide training on tackling hate crime at a conference at Northumbria University organised by the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner.
They will also be providing hate-crime awareness training to teachers at a number of schools in the county over the course of the week.
Earlier this year, the council launched a new mobile phone app to raise awareness of this sometimes hidden crime.
The app, developed for the Safer Northumberland Partnership and available for iPhone and Android phones, helps people understand how to deal with the traumatic effect of such crimes, why it happens, how to report it and where to seek help and support.
Across Northumberland over the past year there were 69 hate crimes – which can include people being targeted over race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
As hate crime is thought to be widely under-reported nationally, the app allows individuals to report instances wherever and whenever they feel safe.
Coun Liz Simpson, chairman of the Safer Northumberland Partnership, said: “While this county is one of the safest in the UK we know there is still under-reporting of hate crime and we want to remind people there is help and support out there.
“No one should ever be victimised because they have a different faith, gender, sexuality, age or disability. This week is a good opportunity to get the message out about the range of services out there which can provide help.”
The mobile phone app can be downloaded for Apple and Android phones by searching for Hate Crime 4 or Northumberland hate crime through the App Store or Google Play store.