Victims of hate crimes can now report incidents at new Third Party Reporting Centres across Portsmouth.
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As part of Hampshire Constabulary’s commitment to tackling hate crime, we have been working with Portsmouth City Council and other partners to establish Third Party Reporting Centres (TPRCs) for hate crime across the city.
Third Party Reporting Centres support victims to report experiences of hate crime without having to contact the police directly.
They allow victims to: report anonymously; provide as much detail as they feel comfortable; choose where, when and how they wish to be contacted; and decide whether to give their personal details to the police. Witnesses and third parties can also report through TPRCs, and reporting can be done using the online form or a physical form.
Force Community Cohesion Officer, William Bergstroem said “It is widely known that hate crime is significantly under-reported and that there are many barriers to why victims may not wish to report directly to the police. TPRCs overcome some of these barriers by providing an alternative means of reporting hate crime in a manner lead by the victim.
“Our reporting centres are based within other organisations across the city. We hope the introduction of these centres will give people the confidence to report any hate crime they may be experiencing or have witnessed to help us tackle these types of issues in our communities.”
This work culminated in the formal launch on 15 October of the Portsmouth Third Party Reporting Network during National Hate Crime Awareness Week. Portsmouth Disability Forum, Citizen’s Advice Portsmouth, British Red Cross Portsmouth, Advice Portsmouth – The YOU Trust, Ethnic Minority Achievement Service at Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth have declared their commitment to support victims of hate crime and tackle hate and intolerance.
Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane said: “A hate crime attacks a person’s core sense of identity and belonging within society. It is important that victims of hate crime and those witnessing can feel confident and supported in reporting these crimes, be it to the police or one of the more than 70 Third Party Reporting Centres across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton, no matter where they are.
“I am delighted that we now have so many reporting centres embedded within the communities, and easy access to independent support through a reporting app. It’s only through working in partnership with communities that we can make a real difference for the most vulnerable members of our society”.
Freida M’Cormack from Portsmouth City Council said:
“Portsmouth City Council has been working closely with Hampshire Constabulary to get this initiative off the ground and we are looking forward to the network playing an integral role in supporting victims of hate crime to report and ultimately get justice.”
Sharon Smithson from Portsmouth Disability Forum said:
"Portsmouth Disability Forum is very passionate about providing a safe place for people with any disability to report any hate crime they have/are experiencing. Some people find it difficult or frightening to report issues to the police, we feel privileged to offer individuals to be able to talk in complete confidence in a safe secure relaxed environment and share their concerns and worries relating to hate crime, and assist to report it.
We believe everyone should be able to live their life and embrace who they are as an individual, without fear of experiencing hate crime.
We feel having the third party reporting centres in Portsmouth, is such a positive thing to have in our city and have seen first hand the difference it can make by some of the people we have talked to. We feel honoured to be a third party reporting centre in Portsmouth.”
The British Red Cross:
“The BRC in Hampshire strongly supports joint efforts with community partners to address hate crime and its causes, and be part of a constructive, community based solution. This includes our office in Portsmouth being a 3rd party reporting centre, allowing our clients and members of the public to access True Vision and report incidents anonymously if they wish.”
Bernie Topham, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Portsmouth: "We're pleased to join a growing number of organisations which supports this initiative as there is no place for hate crime in our community. The University is an inclusive working and learning environment where all its staff and students should expect to be treated with dignity and respect. It is important that if any of our university community experiences hate crime either within the campus or in the local community they report is to the University and to the Police."