15 October 2015 PCC supports Hate Crime Awareness week Events will be taking place across the county this week to help raise local awareness and knowledge about reporting hate crimes. With the theme of the week being “education”, hate crime partnership organisations will be raising awareness of what hate crime is, as well as how to respond to it, encouraging victim reporting, and promoting local support services and resources. People across the county including victims of hate crime, County Councillors and the Mayor of St Edmundsbury, have been showing support for the week by posing with the Hate Crime Candle as seen on the hate crime service Facebook account. From August 2014-July 2015 there were 608 hate crimes reported in Suffolk. 401 were racial, 107 disability, 73 sexual orientation, 15 religion and 12 transgender related incidents. This year, St Paul’s Cathedral will launch National Hate Crime Awareness Week (10-17 October) with a vigil on Saturday 10 October; whilst St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds will be hosting a Suffolk Hate Crime Vigil on Thursday 15 October, (6.30pm -7.30pm). The event will start with a performance from 30 members of Hadleigh Community Choir and will feature speakers such Councillor Tony Goldson, cabinet member for Community Safety; Emma Free from Guide Dogs Association and Graham Holmes from Hadleigh Community Choir who have both been victims of hate crime. Ivan Humble, ex EDL member, who is now a campaigner against hate crime, will also be speaking at the event. Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said: “There’s no room in our society for intolerance and prejudice. It should not and will not be accepted in Suffolk. I’m delighted to join the Constabulary to support National Hate Crime Awareness Week and highlight the support that is available to anyone experiencing any form of hate crime. “It is really important that victims have the confidence to report hate crime, if not to the police, to one of the partner agencies in the county. My message to those living with discrimination and prejudice is to speak up. Help is at hand, please do not suffer alone.” Events will also be taking place throughout the week to help raise awareness in Sudbury, Ipswich, and Haverhill. These will include a befriending scheme open day in Bury St Edmunds, Phoenix Rising will be holding awareness sessions with school pupils in Sudbury whilst there will be workshops with students at West Suffolk College. Companies have also pledged their support with Royal Bank of Scotland ( Bury St Edmunds branch) delivering disability awareness training to their staff and will become part of the Stay Safe Scheme; McDonalds’ across Suffolk are helping to raise awareness of hate and mate crime to their customers.