Exclusive video report by Lewis Warner
Hate crime is experienced on a "regular basis" in all parts of Cumbria, the results of a new survey show.
ITV News Border has gained exclusive access to the findings of a major study into the reality of hate crime for people in the county.
The area had the sixth-lowest number of recorded hate crimes in all of England and Wales last year but police say many go incidents of abuse go unreported.
The survey, undertaken by the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, aims to provide officers with a better understanding of the nature and prevalence of hate crime in the county.
Out of 177 people who completed the online survey all but 4 people said they had experienced hate crime.
Why people perceived that they had been targeted:
Figures from Cumbria Constabulary shows that between March 2020 - March 2021 there was:
Types of crime experienced:
The report highlighted the experience of a wheelchair user who was trying to park his car in Carlisle. He found several disabled parking spaces blocked by a taxi
When the man asked the taxi driver to move, the taxi driver was verbally abusive and refused. He made comments like: "You people think you deserve things and you've never done a day's work in your life".
The victim was shocked and felt torn about what to do. He considered calling the police but didn't want to tie up resources.
The victim, who is an armed forces veteran and police officer, says he now feels vulnerable and disrespected.
The report also highlights the experience of an Asian man from West Cumbria.
He was standing at the checkout in a shop observing social distancing and wearing a facemask. An older man came and stood in front of him in the queue.
The Asian man said: "Excuse me, I'm in the queue". The older man looked at him and then carried on. As he did, he mumbled something inaudibly.
When the Asian man asked what he'd said, the older man said "It's because of f*****s like you that we have to wear these".
The victim felt that the older man was referring to his race and blaming people of Asian ethnicity for the pandemic and related restrictions.
Peter McCall - Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria
Criminal justice agencies should work with community organisationsand groups to develop an appropriate intervention for perpetrators of Hate Crime to preventescalation.
Partner agencies should review what more can be done locally to dealwith offensive comments (which constitute Hate Crime) on social media.
Cumbria Constabulary should incorporate the findings on the impact ofHate Crime and anonymised case studies into officer training and briefings on Hate Crime.
The dip sampling of cases by the Out of Court Disposals Scrutiny Paneland Victims’ Quality Assessment Framework work should continue to look at action taken on cases of alleged Hate Crime and a methodology developed to identify cases which could potentially be Hate Crime but have not been treated as such.
Cumbria Constabulary and Remedi, as provider of restorative justiceservices, should promote the use of restorative justice in relation to Hate Crime.
Criminal justice agencies should engage with organisations who workwith people from different protected characteristics and community organisations to develop appropriate initiatives to encourage greater reporting of Hate Crime.
The OPCC, as a commissioner of support services for victims of crime,and the Clinical Commissioning Groups, as commissioners of mental health services, should take account of the feedback about victims’ needs and experience of accessing services.
Partner agencies should work together to identify and put in placeappropriate initiatives for children and young people which promote understanding of different cultures, ethnicities, disability, sexual orientations (as appropriate to their age) and which promote empathy.
Partner agencies should consider the findings of this report to developpublic communications campaigns which help to challenge prejudice and promote positive stories about people with different protected characteristics.
Help & support
Anyone affected by the issues explored in this report can find links to help and support here...
SUPPORTLINE: 01708 765200
STOP HATE CRIME: 08001381625