Calls to a helpline for reporting hate crime in Nottinghamshire have soared. In the six months up to September last year 204 calls were made to the 'Stop Hate UK' service, compared to 183 in the whole of the previous 12 months.
Campaigners say they hope the rise means more victims of bullying are prepared to come forward. Phil Brewster reports.
Calls to a helpline for victims of hate crime have soared in Nottinghamshire.
Stop Hate UK is a national charity that gives independent and confidential support to victims of hate crime.Victims can report abuse motivated by sexual orientation, gender, disability or ethnicity.
The definition of a hate crime from the Home Office:
'Hate crime' is any notifiable offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hostility towards someone based on their disability, race, religion, gender-identity or sexual orientation, whether perceived to be so by the victim or any other person.
Of the 43,748 hate crimes that were recorded by the police nationally in 2011/12:
35,816 (82%) were race hate crimes, 1,621 (4%) were religion hate crimes, 4,252 (10%) were sexual orientation hate crimes, 1,744 (4%) were disability hate crimes and 315 (1%) were transgender hate crimes.
Wayne Breach from Nottingham has been a regular victim of hate crime. The 40-year-old has learning difficulties & often gets verbal abuse from children and adults.
Denise Hickman is the Assistant Co-ordinator for the 'Smile, Stop Hate Crime' project in Nottinghamshire.
Last year there was a steep rise in the number of calls to the helpline.