Hate crime top of policing agenda

Public meeting: Mark Burns-Williamson.
Public meeting: Mark Burns-Williamson.

Reducing hate crime is top of the policing agenda, according to Police Crime Comminsioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson.

Discussing his plan at the Al-Hikmah Centre in Batley last week, Mr Burns-Williamson told residents he was looking to replicate the way Greater Manchester Police (GMP) record attacks on members of subcultures.

Earlier this year, GMP became the first force in the UK to register incidents in more depth, including attacks on goths and emos.

Hate crimes are currently registered by West Yorkshire Police for offences against race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “We are planning to launch an initiative to take on the issue and listen to many groups who have been victims.

“We are looking at the classification of recording each crime seperately.”

The announcement came as members from the Indian Muslim Welfare Society expressed concerns over the rise of Islamophobia - the fear or hatred of Islam and Muslims.

Kirklees Council’s Head of Safe and Cohesive Communities Michael Greene said: “Hate crime is not acceptable and we should acknowledge the things that unite us and not things that divide us.

“We plead with residents to report incidents of hate crime because it is unaccepetable.

“We can only take any action when it is reported.”