New hate crime help line launched for under-18s in Barking and Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 August 2019
PA Wire/PA Images/Philip Toscano
Young people who experience hate crime now have a new way to get help.
The national charity Stop Hate has launched a new help line aimed at under-18s with a goal of making them more comfortable reporting hate incidents.
The service, named Call Hate Out, is for all kinds of hate crime, including attacks based on people's race, gender and disability.
Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the council funds Stop Hate to provide a place where residents can take their concerns (though this new line isn't costing additional money).
There have been 321 race-related hate crimes in the borough in the past 12 months, according to data from the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Rose Simkins has been chief executive at Stop Hate UK for 13 years.
She said that young people often feel adult services aren't for them and hopes a dedicated line will increase the number reaching out for help.
Ms Simkins also wants the new line to support people who work with children, like teachers and doctors, have conversations with young people about hate.
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"What we are hoping is that more young people will know what hate crime is and that they don't have to experience it on their own," she said. "If something happens, there's someone there who can help them.
"What we know is that young people are experiencing hate crime on a daily basis.
"This doesn't have to be a normal thing that they experience."
Stop Hate also runs specialist lines to deal with crimes against the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities.
The goal is to make people feel like they're calling the right place.
The introduction of the new line in the borough comes as the charity fears people are living with hate crime and aren't reporting it.
Ms Simkins commented: "Don't just report it, get some advice to get justice for what happened to you.
"Have a conversation with us about what you need and what you want and we will work with you to try and get a good outcome for you."
The new help line can be called on 0808 801 0576 or texted at 07717 989025. More information can be found at stophateuk.org/call-hate-out.