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King's Lynn police proud to support pride

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Superintendent Wes Hornigold, King's Lynn Police Commander, writes for the Lynn News

Norfolk Constabulary was delighted to support King’s Lynn and West Norfolk as the district celebrated Pride and diversity in our communities on Saturday and I thought it would be timely to use this month’s blog to give some advice on what a hate crime or incident is, how you can report a hate crime or incident and what Norfolk Constabulary are doing about hate crimes and hate incidents.

Every single person deserves to be treated with fairness, respect and to feel equal to others.

Unfortunately, however, we are aware that hate crimes and incidents still occur within our communities.

Supt West Hornigold outside Lynn Police Station as it flies the Gay Pride flag. (50569343)
Supt West Hornigold outside Lynn Police Station as it flies the Gay Pride flag. (50569343)

In 2017 the Stop Hate in Norfolk (SHiN) Protocol was launched, led by Norfolk Constabulary and Norfolk County Council.

The Protocol allows for different organisations in Norfolk, whether public, private, voluntary or community to work together to make it easier for people to report hate incidents and crime and increase the confidence of people across the county to report hate incidents as well as increasing the number of places where a hate incident or crime can be reported.

So, what is a hate crime or incident?

A hate crime or incident is one of which the victim or anyone else believes is motivated by hostility, prejudice or hate on the grounds of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, transgender identity.

These can take many forms and while physical violence, verbal abuse, damage to property and graffiti are common, other forms of hostility are on the increase.

For example, online prejudice is becoming increasingly common, especially with younger and more vulnerable people. This can include anything from abusive mail and texts to posting offensive material on social media.

Mate Crime is another emerging trend we are seeing where a vulnerable victim is specifically targeted by the offender who befriends that person with the intention of exploiting him or her financially, physically or sexually.

These crimes may go unreported for many reasons including fear, vulnerability or lack of support.

We encourage anyone who has been a victim of a hate incident or crime or anyone who has witnessed such an incident to report it to police straightaway via our non-emergency phone number 101, Text on 07786 200 777, Minicom number 0845 345 3458, Fax number 01953 42 42 99 or our online reporting forms at www.norfolk.police.uk where you can also find more information.

On Saturday, I was delighted to be able to fly the Constabulary’s Pride flag at King’s Lynn Police Station and while the fantastic parade and full event could not take place this year in The Walks, it was good to see so many from our community take part in the Pink Picnic organised by the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Pride group.

I am really looking forward to next year when I truly hope that I and my officers will be involved and supporting the full event!

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