‘We’re beating the bigots’ – police claim to be winning the war on hate crime

The BNP Truth Truck stuck under the Metro and railway bridge just north of the St Peter's Metro Station, Sheepfolds, Sunderland.'After letting down all the tyres it was possible to reverse the truck out from under the bridge.
The BNP Truth Truck stuck under the Metro and railway bridge just north of the St Peter's Metro Station, Sheepfolds, Sunderland.'After letting down all the tyres it was possible to reverse the truck out from under the bridge.
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THE war on bigots is being won, police claim.

The number of recorded hate crimes and racist incidents reported to police in the North East has fallen by five per cent in the last year.

However, the figures come as Tahir Khan, chairman of multicultural organisation Unity, calls on the Government to put a stop to the demonstrations he believes are causing fear in the community.

Over recent months, the BNP has carried out demonstrations across the city to protest against Subway’s use of halal meat.

Last month, protesters were left stuck when their “truth truck” became wedged under a bridge in the Sheepfolds area of the city.

Police cordoned off the street while it was freed by letting air out of all four tyres.

Separate protests against the new mosque in Millfield have also been held.

Mr Khan said: “I believe in freedom of speech but not when it disturbs a community and creates fear like these are.

“If the Government and police don’t do something now, the results will be very, very sad because enough is enough.

“We shouldn’t have to put up with this and, as a bigger community, we need to find a peaceful way of living together so we can have a better and brighter future.”

Mr Khan has received a letter from the Home Secretary promising a response within 15 days.

The latest Government figures show recorded hate crime in the Northumbria force area fell from 689 in 2010 to 657 in 2011.

Racist incidents also fell by 11 per cent over the last two years, from 1,027 to 913.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Gilmore said campaigns by the force and working with other organisations had helped cut crime figures.

“Northumbria Police is committed to combating hate crime and work closely with our partners to tackle all forms of the crime and provide the support people need,” he said.

“We want people to have the confidence to report incidents, safe in the knowledge that we will take their feelings into account and take appropriate action.”

More than 80 places across the force area have become Safe Reporting Centres – where people can report incidents or contact police. The centres complement other reporting schemes – including Arch on 08000 323288 and True Vision at www.report-it.org.uk – which offer online and telephone facilities to report incidents.

To report hate crime directly to the police contact Northumbria Police on 101 or – in an emergency – dial 999.

People who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired can text 07786 200815 - or text 999 in an emergency - or contact the force Minicom 01661 820 915.

Twitter: @janethejourno