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Hate crime is abhorrent and will not be tolerated in the West Midlands, the Police and Crime Commissioner has vowed.

Simon Foster made the pledge during Hate Crime Awareness Week, where he highlighted the importance of facilitating and encouraging the reporting of hate crime in an interview with BBC Midlands Today.

The Police and Crime Commissioner is also investing £650,000 in a service that ensures victims have access to the right support at the right time.

The number of hate crimes recorded across England and Wales have risen, in part due to improvements in how police record hate crime.

The latest Home Office figures show 12,790 hate crimes were recorded by West Midlands Police in the year to March – an increase from 9,468 the previous year.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster said: “Crimes motivated by hate are abhorrent and will not be tolerated. If you are a victim of hate crime, it is distressing and upsetting.  

“The rise in reported hate crime might, in part, be due to improved recording of hate crime or increased awareness and confidence in reporting. However, any hate crime is a matter of serious concern to me. 

“I encourage anyone who is a victim of hate crime to report it to the police or to a third party reporting centre.

“I expect West Midlands Police to investigate and take action, so that perpetrators are held to account, via the criminal justice system.

“Victims need access to the right support at the right time. That is why I am investing £650,000 in a service that is dedicated to helping victims emotionally and practically.”

You can watch the Police and Crime Commissioner’s appearance on BBC Midlands Today here.

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