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A major new study to investigate hate crime in the West Midlands and to shape the development of improved support services for victims is being led by the University of Leicester.

The project’s aims are closely aligned with the priorities set out within the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan which are to improve the quality of support offered to hate crime victims and to better understand victims’ needs through the criminal justice system.

The research, which is funded by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, will be led by Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy and Professor Neil Chakraborti from the University of Leicester Centre for Hate Studies within the Department of Criminology between February and April 2017.

The research comes at a time when numbers of reported hate crimes has risen.

The findings and recommendations from the research will be used to shape new and improved support services for hate crime victims in the West Midlands.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “It is important that we make sure there is proper support for victims of hate crime.

“West Midlands Police take the investigation of hate crime very seriously, I also want to make sure the correct support is in place for victims too.”

Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy said: “With levels of hate crime escalating, it is crucial that support services are accessible, effective and retain the confidence of victims. We therefore welcome this timely opportunity to work with the Police and Crime Commissioner to identify the support needs and expectations of hate crime victims.”

The research team is looking for people in the West Midlands to share their views either through a short survey or through interviews.

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