21807372848_eb89fe424e_zSutton Council is encouraging borough residents to contact the Police if they have been the target of a “hate crime” because of their disability, gender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation.

Hate crimes range from being called names in the street, spitting, bullying or harassment through to being physically assaulted or having property damaged. Hate crime may also be written in a letter, email, a text message, as graffiti or on social media.

This year’s Hate Crime Awareness Week is from 8 to 15 October. For the month of October Sutton Council’s email banner has changed to reflect its support for this initiative. Officers from the council, Police and Sutton Citizen’s Advice Bureau will be on the streets talking to residents about hate crime and how to report it.

Last year 369 hate crime incidents were reported in Sutton but the Police believe the actual number of people suffering abuse will be much higher.

Chief Supt Dave Stringer, Sutton Borough Commander, said:

“Any sort of hate crime will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with robustly. We want people who have been a victim of hate crime to report it to police to enable us to take steps to put a stop to it and bring offenders before the Courts.”