British Transport Police and West Yorkshire Police join community groups in Leeds to Mark International Migrants Day (18 Dec 2017)

Imagine being abused because of the language you speak, what you wear, where you were born or what you believe in. Awful, right?

Sadly in our communities people are being subjected to such behaviour. Abusing people in this way can be a crime - a hate crime.

Today (18/12) is International Migrants Day and officers and staff will join community groups and organisations from across the city at Leeds station to stand together to reinforce the message that we won't tolerate hate crime anywhere. Everyone has the right to live and travel in our society whatever their race, religion, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other perceived difference.

We are proud that Yorkshire is a diverse and multicultural region, which welcomes people from all over the world. We are also proud that millions of people from all cultures and walks of life live here and very few become a victim of crime.

However, some minority groups, including asylum seekers and migrants, are sadly targeted, abused, harassed or even assaulted because of who they are, how they speak, what they look like or what they believe in.

This is not acceptable and we take every report we receive extremely seriously - we investigate them thoroughly and support every single victim.

As part of the day officers and staff from British Transport Police and West Yorkshire Police will be at the station talking to passengers, rail staff and members of the public handing out leaflets, raising awareness of hate crime and providing practical advice on what you should do if you do become a victim or witness a hate crime.

If you are subjected to hate crime, we want you to report any incidents to us so that we can help.

We don't want language to be a barrier, which is why we've produced hate crime leaflets in 20 different languages to provide information on what a hate crime is and how to report it.

Research was undertaken across our region to identify the top 20 languages, alongside English, spoken. The following were identified and the leaflets translated into these languages - Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, Latvian, Slovak, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Portuguese, Arabic, Sorani, Farsi, Bengali, Urdu, Pushtu, Dari, Albanian, Amharic, Tigrinian

The multi lingual leaflets will be displayed at key locations accessible by people from our diverse communities from across the region.

This particular event continues to support the Home Office campaign 'Action against Hate', The UK Government's plan for tackling hate crime, launched in 2016.

Chief Inspector Lorna McEwan from British Transport Police said, "As part of BTP's We Stand Together campaign - an initiative designed to stamp out hate crime and incidents on public transport, we are actively encouraging people to come forward to report hate crime to us.

"We work closely with West Yorkshire Police and this event is all about us telling people that there is never any excuse for hate crime.

"It's important that we can reach out to all the diverse communities we serve and we hope that by providing advice and information in different languages will increase confidence in the police and encourage people to come forward if they are victims so we can investigate and provide them with support.

"Wherever you are from or whatever language you speak, if you are a victim of hate crime, or if you witness an incident that makes you feel uncomfortable, please do not suffer in silence - report it to us and we will do everything we can to help."

West Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson, said:

"Hate crime is unacceptable and it is a Force priority to support those who fall victim to it and to take action against those who commit it.

"It is important victims have the confidence to come forward and report what has happened to them - if you tell us what has happened we will listen and we will take action.

"I am proud that we are taking part in the event to mark International Migrants Day. By joining with partners we can help to make a real difference."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

"No-one should be subjected to, or fear, abuse because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, for basically being who you are.

"Language should not be a barrier to reporting incidents or receiving support and these new leaflets are a great step forward in making sure we are accessible to the communities we serve.

"We will continue to do our utmost, together with our partners and our communities, to eradicate hate in West Yorkshire."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019