Beds Police force ranks top ten for hate crime convictions

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Bedfordshire Police is the seventh highest ranked police force for hate crime convictions.

The force climbed more than 30 places in the ranking table as the number of convictions continue to rise.

In the last quarter the force secured a 94.1 per cent conviction rate in relation to hate crime cases, compared with 73.7 per cent at the same time last year.

Chief Inspector Gayner Coulson, Bedfordshire Police lead for hate crime, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the hard work that we are doing as a force to tackle hate crime perpetrators and support the victims of this heinous crime has been recognised.

“No-one should ever have to suffer abuse as a result of who they are as a person and our rise in conviction rate is a sign of just how seriously we take these offences, and how committed we are to bringing those responsible to justice. “In the last year, as well as improving our conviction rate dramatically, we have also launched the first of our third party reporting centres, appointed a dedicated hate crime sergeant, and introduced hate crime cards for people with autism – to name but a few.”

The third party reporting centres launched at the beginning of February and will provide a platform for speaking out against hate crime in community centres and local groups who are often at the heart of communities.

The first centres in the county are in:

• Mind BLMK, Bedford

• The Disability Resource Centre, Dunstable

• Tokko Youth Space, Luton

• LGBT Links, Luton

• Centre For Youth and Development (CYCD), Luton

CI Coulson added: “Putting an end to hate crime in our communities is a priority for Bedfordshire Police and we are working closely with partners to ensure that victims feel comfortable in coming forward, receive the appropriate support, and ultimately feel safe in their community.”

For more information on hate crime or to report it online, or www.report-it.org.uk

Alternatively you can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.