Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC), Katy Bourne, says that she will continue to make sure that Sussex Police takes a zero tolerance approach to hate crime.
Commenting on the reported national rise of hate crime incidents, Mrs Bourne said: "It deeply saddens me that, since the EU referendum, reports of hate crime appear to have increased nationally.
"Throughout history the British have shown themselves to be a tolerant nation, and one which has been enriched socially and economically by the many diverse peoples who have made this island their home.
"Like many, I have no time for bigotry and believe that no one should be singled out and victimised because of their race, faith, sexuality, gender or disability.
"Although I welcome the news that Sussex Police has not seen an increase in reports of hate crime locally since the EU referendum, I do know that many minority groups have not always had trust in the police. As PCC I am determined to improve this for everyone in Sussex and that is why I fully support any initiative that tackles hate crime, which is a key priority in my Police & Crime Plan.
"In 2015, during National Hate Crime Awareness Week, I launched a bespoke hate crime reporting app to make it easier to record and report all strands of hate crime in Sussex.
"The Self Evident crime reporting app is an existing piece of technology developed by social enterprise, Just Evidence. However, financial investment from my office has enabled more custom-built software to be added which serves a wider purpose: victims of hate crime are now able to send a report straight to victim support services without the need to report to police. The modified app empowers victims by allowing them to choose the kind of support they want to receive. Ultimately, the app puts the victim in the driving seat.
"Another benefit of the app is its ability to record and store video, audio and photo evidence. This is particularly good for witnesses of hate crime and subsequently will help communities feel empowered to tackle it and show that it won’t be tolerated.
"This summer I am delighted to be joining forces with Brighton Pride and several pubs and breweries including Wetherspoons and Harveys, to encourage people to download the Self Evident hate crime reporting app and help make Sussex #NoPlaceForHate. Beermats/coasters are being designed with a QR code to allow people to download the app there and then. The Pride beermats will be produced in rainbow colours along with flags and temporary tattoos. Another version will be produced in conjunction with Wetherspoons and placed in their pubs throughout Sussex during Freshers week.”
At her monthly PAM (Performance & Accountability Meeting) on Friday the 22 July, the PCC will question Chief Constable, Giles York, on how Sussex Police is reassuring and supporting local communities who may feel vulnerable since the EU referendum.