With the help of members of the Rotherham United first team squad, plus the assistance of our first team staff and Community Sports Trust, the club have designated today’s fixture to raise the profile of tackling hate crime in the area through the Police’s Operation Solar.
It has been recognised hate crimes are still under-reported and South Yorkshire Police, who are committed to tackling hate crimes, are raising awareness of what hate crimes are, how they can be reported and what work has been done so far, as no-one should be a victim.
What is a hate crime?
A hate crime is any criminal offence that is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. South Yorkshire Police also record and deal with hate incidents, which is where prejudice or hostility is demonstrated but no criminal offence has taken place.
Who can be a victim of hate crime?
Anyone can be a victim of hate crime and South Yorkshire Police and its partners will treat any report seriously and support all victims.
Why do hate crimes need to be reported?
South Yorkshire Police need victims and witnesses of hate crime to tell us what has happened as this enables them to tackle the problem head on and identify hot spots and offenders.
What work is being done?
South Yorkshire Police and its partners have been working hard to raise awareness and encourage victims to come forward and speak about what has happened. The latest initiative in Rotherham that has been launched to encourage reporting and improve confidence is Operation Solar. The operation, which was set up in May 2016, offers an anonymous mechanism to report hate crime.
Work has also been done to develop relationships with and providing training to third party advocacy services such as the Safer Rotherham Partnership, Rotherham United Community Support Trust, Rainbow Project, Rotherham Ethnic Minority Alliance, Scope, Mind, Speak Up, Barnardos and many others. Details of these third party reporting advocates can be found on the South Yorkshire police web page. http://www.southyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime
Hate Crime Co-ordinator, PC Christopher Nicholson who is leading the Op Solar initiative said: “The initiative is still in its early stages and has helped to provide us with greater detail as to what is happening to members of the public.
“I hope through the positive results and prosecutions that have recently been achieved, victims of hate crimes will have the confidence to come forward and report, knowing justice can be attained.
“If you would like any more information about what a hate crime or incident is, you can visit the police website http://www.southyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime
“To report a hate crime please don’t hesitate to contact police on 999 in an emergency, 101 in a nonemergency, make contact with a third party reporting centre, or report it anonymously directly to police via Operation Solar: firstname.lastname@example.org"