South Yorkshire Police and the South Yorkshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are inviting Rotherham residents along to the second meeting to discuss how hate crime is reported and how the police respond to incidents.

The event follows the Rotherham Community Summit that was hosted by Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, which took place in November last year. The event was attended by representatives from the black and minority ethnic communities as well as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) and Faith communities who shared their experiences to help develop a deeper understanding of how the police address concerns around hate crime.

At the meeting, which was also attended by South Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner, organisations and individuals raised issues and highlighted instances where hate crime was occurring and where they felt the police and local authority were not listening and taking their issues seriously. Some of the key points raised included: a lack of confidence in reporting or a lack of knowledge about how to report, fear of reprisals and a lack of understanding by the police. There was concern that many incidents were carried out in front of children and a number of people reported that the crimes were often carried out in public places, often supermarkets.

This follow-up event is will take place on Sunday 7 February between 2pm and 5pm at the New York Stadium in Rotherham. It will aim to inform the community about the work that has been undertaken since the last meeting and reassure them that hate crime is a priority and won’t be tolerated. Sarah Champion MP for Rotherham will also be speaking at the event in response to the work that is being undertaken.

Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin said: “Ultimately we want all communities to be able to live, work or visit Rotherham without the fear of being subjected to hate crime. We take incidents of hate crime extremely seriously and want to work with the community and partner organisations to stamp it out. I want people to feel confident that South Yorkshire Police will investigate all allegations of hate crime and we will ensure anyone committing it is brought to justice.”

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “We have organised this event to enable us to listen to communities and better understand their experiences. We want to use their knowledge and experiences to increase awareness of what hate crime is and to develop a way of tackling the issue together.”

The event will include feedback and presentations from South Yorkshire Police as well as a short workshop session to involve attendees in how issues of hate crime are dealt with.

Any individual or community group or organisation with an interest in tackling hate crime and is able to attend and contribute to the event should register their attendance by emailing [email protected]