The law currently recognises five types of hate crime on the basis of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity. Anyone can be the target of a hate crime or hate incident.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, hate crime and hate incidents against people of east Asian heritage has risen significantly, with conservative estimates suggesting a 50% rise. These crimes and incidents ranged from Covid-related slurs in school playgrounds, to racial slurs, attacks on businesses and attacks on individuals.
The Chair of the Asian Police Staff Association, Insp Derek Hussain, explained that there is historically low crime reporting from the Chinese community: “It’s all crime, not just hate crime. This is due in part to the fact that Chinese communities are quite insular. There are also trust and language barriers for some.
“I’m originally from Hong Kong and it’s important that we have people from different backgrounds. Some of us know different cultures and speak the language.”
As part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, we are seeking to encourage people to report hate crimes. If a hate crime is reported to us, we will act upon it. Being you is not a crime, targeting you is.
A member of the Chinese community in Humberside discussed the issues she faced growing up in a different region: “Often it was things like name-calling, slurs and people causing a nuisance – like throwing things at our house just because we have a different skin colour. There was no damage but it made us feel unsafe.
“We reported these incidents to our local police force and they couldn’t do anything because there was no tangible crime.
“I feel if people knew more about us, they would realise we are not that different to them.”
Like many people across Humberside, Inspector Hussain is proud to serve diverse communities: “We should celebrate the diversity within our force and communities.”
Humberside Police takes all reports of hate crime seriously. This Hate Crime Awareness Week we want to remind people to call it out and report hate crimes.
To report a hate crime, visit www.humberside.police.uk or the national hate crime website, call them on 999 in an emergency, or 101 for non-emergencies, or visit one of the four reporting centres across Hull. Information on where these centres are can be found here.