A new centre has been set up in Peterborough where people can report hate crime.
Bayard Place in the city centre, which is shared by Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire Constabulary, is now a third party reporting centre.
Specially trained staff are available to take reports of hate crime and guide people through their options.
It is an alternative for people who do not feel confident in reporting directly to the police.
PC Tiff Lane, the force’s hate crime co-ordinator, said: “Everyone should be allowed to live free from harassment and the fear of crime.
“We appreciate this type of incident can be confusing and frightening for victims, their families and the wider community.
“We also understand people don’t always think they should or can report it. But by reporting, you may be able to prevent it happening again to yourself or maybe to someone else.
“Reporting can make a real difference to the victim, their friends and the community.”
Jawaid Khan, community cohesion manager for Peterborough City Council, said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe in their community, so I am pleased this new centre will make it easier for people who have experienced hate crime to talk about it with someone who can listen and advise on what can be done to help them.
“There is no need for anyone to suffer in silence. Even if you don’t feel ready to report it to the police, you can now speak to specially trained staff at Bayard Place who will be able to help.”
A hate crime is defined as any criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate against a person’s race, religion or belief, disability (physical, mental ill health and learning), gender Identity or sexual orientation.
Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “It is very important that people report this type of crime and this new centre gives people an extra option in how to go about it.
“I encourage victims and witnesses of hate crime to come forward without fear - you will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner I am committed to ensuring this crime is taken seriously and responded to.”
People can report hate crime by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency, or via the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website. Alternatively, if people would prefer not to go directly to the police, they can report incidents online via the third party reporting scheme True Vision. This can be accessed via www.report-it.org.uk/.
There are also third party reporting centres at:
Cross Keys Housing, PARCA Unity Hall, Northfield Road, PE1 3QH
Citizens Advice Peterborough, Alma House, 41A Park Rd, PE1 2TG
Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service, 3 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Rd, PE1 2RP
Centre 33 - Young Carers Group, Queen Mary Centre.
Citizens Advice, 8-9 Church Mews, PE13 1HL
Job Centre Plus
FDC One Stop Shop (Wisbech@yourservice shop), 2-3 Bridge St, PE13 1AF
The Ferry Project, Octavia View, 10a - 14 South Brink, PE13 1JQ
New Vision Fitness Centre (The Hudson), Harecroft Rd, PE13 1RL
Oasis Centre, Wisbech Community Development Trust, Oasis Community Centre, St Michaels Avenue, PE13 3NR
ROSMINI centre, 69a Queens Rd, PE13 2PH
Town Council, 1 North Brink, PE13 1JR
Eddies 88 Hugh St, PE15 9LD
FDC Fenland Hall, County Rd, PE15 8NQ
FDC One Stop Shop (March@your service shop), 8 Broad St, PE15 8TP
New Vision Fitness Centre George Campbell, City Road, PE15 9LT
Young People March, The Centre, City Rd, PE15 3LS
Community Hub, 31-35 Market Street, PE7 1BA
New Vision Fitness Centre (The Manor), Station Rd, Whittlesey, PE7 1UA
Town Council, Grosvenor House, Grosvenor Road, PE7 1AQ
Chatteris Community Hub, Furrowfields, PE16 6DY