The Mall Luton has become the first shopping centre in Bedfordshire to become a Hate Crime Reporting Centre.
Also joining the shopping centre is mental health and wellbeing charity Mind BLMK (Bedfordshire Luton Milton Keynes).
They will be working in partnership with Bedfordshire Police to join the list of organisations to act as reporting centres, allowing victims/witnesses of hate crime to report the matter in familiar surroundings and to someone they may feel more comfortable with rather than reporting it directly to the police.
Staff within these centres have been trained to assist victims or witnesses in submitting a report to the police and can make such a report on the victim’s/witness’ behalf.
Sergeant Carl Perri from the force’s Hate Crime unit, said: “We are really pleased to now have The Mall Luton and Mind BLMK on board to give victims better opportunities to report hate crime.
“We are working hard to tackle this across the county, as it has a devastating impact on victims who are targeted because of their identity. Although we have seen a rise in people reporting hate crime, we know it remains under-reported and our third party reporting centres play an important role in encouraging victims to come forward.”
Roy Greening, General Manager at The Mall Luton, said: “We are delighted to work with Bedfordshire Police to raise awareness and help combat hate crime, and are honoured to have become the first shopping centre in Bedfordshire to become a reporting centre.
“It’s wonderful we can now offer them a facility where they can come and talk to our staff about their concerns or concerns about someone who has been a victim.”
If you or anyone you know has been affected by hate crime contact Bedfordshire Police on 101 or contact True Vision online at report-it.org.uk or via the Third Party Reporting Centres which can be found on the Bedfordshire Police website.