Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has spent time with the force’s community engagement teams to talk about putting her pledge to tackle hate crime in action.

When she was elected last month (July), Commissioner McGuinness identified hate crime as one of her top priorities and vowed to take a zero tolerance stance.

Yesterday (Tuesday), to build a picture around the work already happening on hate crime and to see how it is currently tackled within the force, Commissioner McGuinness spoke with officers and staff whose role it is to engage and communicate directly with communities.

She visited the police control room and listened to a wide range of calls including reports of hate crime as the force’s call handlers received them, in order to understand their experiences and see how officers can better develop victim satisfaction.

Commissioner McGuinness emphasised how important it is to make sure communities feel heard and have the confidence to report any incidents of hate crime.

She said: “It is totally unacceptable to abuse somebody because of a protected characteristic, such as race, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

“Victims need to feel reassured that they are being listened to and that police and partners are doing everything possible to tackle the issues they are faced with.

“Hate crime can have a devastating effect on victims, and I will stand together with Northumbria Police, our partners and the community to stop this type of prejudice.

“Meeting with officers and staff today has been incredibly beneficial in helping me understand where we currently stand in the fight against hate crime, and how we can proactively move forward to build confidence in victims, prevent further incidents and ensuring those responsible are brought to justice.

“We also work closely with Victims First Northumbria and other partners to provide help for victims throughout the criminal justice process and beyond to ensure they are fully supported.

“I would encourage all victims of hate crime to report any incidents to police directly or to one of their partners via a safe reporting centre.

“Hate crime will not be tolerated in Northumbria – I’m here to make sure of it.”

The Commissioner also met with the Police Policy Hate Crime Lead, Paul Giannasi OBE from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) today (Wednesday) to discuss the issue in a national context and talk about what more can be done to prevent hate crime and protect victims.

The meeting was hosted by The Prince’s Trust who are keen to champion the ongoing work around hate crime through their programmes with young people going forward.

For more information and how to report incidents of hate crime please visit Northumbria Police’s website here: