There has been a rise in hate crimes on the Isle of Wight.

In 2017/18 there were 148 recorded hate crimes on the Island, up by 101 from the previous year, according to the Isle of Wight Council. 

The Island’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Protection says the increase could be partially due to new centres set up on the Island to encourage people to report their experiences.

Councillor Tig Outlaw said:

“We want to send out a strong message that there is ‘No Place for Hate’ on the Island and we invite everyone to join us in sending that clear message.

“Hate crime reporting here has increased in the past 2 years although this may in part be due to the new centres that have been set up on the Island, but bigotry and ignorance are unacceptable. I would like to encourage anyone suffering from this type of behaviour to come forward and know that they will be supported.”

This week marks Hate Crime Awareness Week, during which the IOW Community Safety Partnership (CSP) is supporting a range of events including drop in and training sessions across the Isle of Wight.

Inspector Tracy Scrase, from Hampshire Constabulary, said:

“Hate crimes cover a multitude of incidents and offences which are motivated by hostility, prejudice or hatred towards someone’s actual or perceived race, disability, sexual orientation, faith/religion, gender or age. There can never be any excuse for hate crime in any shape or form and this criminality will not be tolerated.

“The awareness week re-iterates that we want those who are victims of hate crime to feel confident to contact us because we’ll take your reports seriously, protect you, and make sure you get all the support you need.

“Hate crimes are also often reported by a third party. You do not have to be the victim or even know the victim of a hate incident to report it to the police. If you witness an incident, or someone tells you about one, you can report it to us on their behalf.”

You can find more information about the Isle of Wight’s Hate Crime Awareness Week events here.