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Staffs Police investigate hundreds of racism complaints

INVESTIGATING: Racism complaints make up more than 80 per cent of all ‘hate' crimes reported in the Staffordshire county

ALMOST 700 complaints of racial abuse have been investigated by Staffordshire Police in the past year.

New figures show the force has dealt with 2,669 race crimes since 2011 – with 677 in 2014.

The incidents make up more than 80 per cent of all ‘hate' crimes reported in the county.

Now Staffordshire Police are backing the national We Stand Together campaign to support community cohesion.

Superintendent Carl Ratcliffe, who oversees hate crime complaints said: “There may be a multitude of different and complex reasons that lead to the crime and the way that people behave.

“My over-riding concern is that no matter what those complex reasons are, fundamentally we should value difference and respect each other as individuals no matter who we are and what our chosen lifestyle may be.

“It's about valuing that difference and welcoming the fact that, as individuals, we are all different."

He added: “There is just no place for hate crime. It really affects the victims' lives and the impact can be massive. It can adversely affect a person's confidence and their feelings of safety that we take for granted.

"The courts have enhanced sentencing powers for hate crimes so not only will Staffordshire Police deal with it robustly and effectively, the courts also will."

The number of race crimes in Staffordshire is falling, with 970 incidents in 2010 and 874 in 2013.

But community groups are determined to keep reducing the complaints.
The hate crime data also reveals Staffordshire Police investigated 83 homophobic incidents in 2014, compared with 65 reports in 2013.

A further 38 complaints were made to police over incidents relating to a person's disability in 2014. But police believe a lot of the crimes remain under-reported and officers are visiting day centres to make sure adults know how to report crimes.

Chairman of the Newcastle and Kidsgrove Taxi Association,Tariq Mahmood said he has known drivers to be racially abused.

He said: “The majority of customers are great but about one in a hundred will abuse the driver and it can leave them very shaken up."

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