Independent reporting centres for hate crime established in every Cambridgeshire district

Police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite hosted community organisations, dignitaries and celebr

Police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite hosted community organisations, dignitaries and celebrities at Cambridgeshire Police headquarters as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week in 2018. - Credit: Archant

A location to record hate crime independently of the police will be established in every district in Cambrdgeshire in a bid to boost reporting in “harder to reach” communities.

In addition to a place for people to go, "community champions" have been selected as a point of contact for those who wish to report hate crime, and a campaign will be launched to increase awareness of the already existing online reporting service True Vision.

The idea is that in some cases police involvement may put people off reporting incidents of hate crime, a problem the government is bringing in changes to solve.

The document outlining the proposals noted this is not the first time the idea of independent reporting centres has been tried.

It says: "In 2016, a number of 3rd party reporting centres were set up on non-police premises around the county. However, there was not a coordinated approach to this and as such they have proven to be largely unsuccessful."

It says more coordination and promotion will be invested this time around.

Assistant Director for Prevention and Enforcement, Rob Hill, who introduced the report to the committee, said the fear of an increase in hate crime at the point the UK leaves the European Union has led to the scheme being accelerated.

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Mr Hill said: "This work has become all the more important due to the current Brexit position. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has warned there is a real possibility that exit will trigger a spike in hate crimes. So we are doing this work with that in mind and we have made sure we have time solutions."

But he said further enhancements would be made.

The fixed centres to report hate crime will be part of a "hub and spoke approach" and complemented by "satellite locations".

Cambridgeshire County Council's Communities and Partnership Committee has unanimously allocated the following sites as independent reporting centres:

East Cambridgeshire: Lighthouse Centre, 13 Lynn Road, Ely, CB74EG

Huntingdonshire: Pathfinder House, St Mary's Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3TN

Cambridge City: Mandela House, 4 Regent Street, Cambridge, CB21BY (moving to the city library at a later date)

South Cambridgeshire: Melbourn Community Hub, 30 High Street, SG8 6DZ

Fenland: Fenland Hall, County Road, March, PE15 8NQ, and Rosmini Centre, 69A Queens Road, Wisbech, PE13 2PH

Peterborough's main location will be at the Customer Service Centre, Bridge Street, Peterborough PE1 1HF.

The community champion is Cllr Lis Every for East Cambs and Cllr Jan French for Fenland.