‘We have zero tolerance to hate crimes’ said police who in 2019 recorded one incident of prejudice a week across East Devon.
Police want East Devon’s recorded figures of hate crime to increase in 2020 – with the hope more people can find the courage to report incidents
Some 50 incidents of hate crime were logged by officers recording public order offences across areas including Exmouth, Ottery St Mary, West Hill, Cranbrook, Exeter Airport and Broadclyst.
Inspector Antonia Weeks, at Exmouth Police, said there was no room for intolerance in East Devon, and urged anyone facing prejudice to come forward.
She said: “The more serious ones recorded will be under the banner of hate crime where someone uses a phrase about someone’s disability or ethnicity.
“We would be looking at that figure to increase. We want people to have the confidence to come forward to report it.”
Insp Weeks added: “We have zero tolerance to hate crimes and we actually encourage people to report them.”
Devon and Cornwall Police said during 2019 there were 2517 crimes recorded for the Exmouth area – a reduction of just over three per cent on 2018.
Overall officers recorded fewer offences of vehicle crime, theft and burglary than in the previous year.
Police said there was a small increase in criminal damage and public order offences, while crimes involving violence remained about the same as 2018.
The force said if a member of the public phoned up and said something had been damaged, it would be recorded.
Devon and Cornwall Police said incidents recorded as criminal damage, reported by the public, included car damage, scratches to paintwork, broken wing mirrors and fallen garden fences.
Road rage, neighbour disputes, fights and arguments reported by the community were recorded by police as public order offences.