Citizens Advice offers haven for “hate crime” victims
Victims and witnesses of hate crime in south Oxfordshire who are unwilling to talk directly to the police now have a place to go to report incidents.
Since July 2018, Citizens Advice Oxfordshire South and Vale has become a “hate crime reporting centre”, providing a safe environment where you can tell specially trained staff what happened to you. Citizens Advice staff and volunteers can then act on your behalf, contacting the police if you want this, and referring you to “Victims First”, a service which will provide the support you need to recover from your experience.
Hate incidents or crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of their personal characteristics or because of what other people think those characteristics are. For example, you might be verbally abused in the street because you are disabled or gay, or because somebody thinks you are.
Hate incidents are commonly sparked off by people’s prejudices over disability, race, religion or sexual orientation. These incidents take many forms, including threats and harassment, verbal abuse, intimidation, physical attacks, hate mail or online abuse, or damage to your home or car.
You can report a hate incident or hate crime even if it wasn’t directed at you personally.
Contact Citizens Advice in person during opening hours or on the telephone (Adviceline 03 444 111444). For locations of offices and opening hours see www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/oxfordshire-south-vale