THERE'S no place for hate in the UK – that’s the message from Wiltshire Police, as this year’s National Hate Crime Awareness Week gets underway across the county.

A special week of events and education starts today to raise awareness of what constitutes hate crime and how to report it.

Wiltshire takes a zero tolerance approach towards hate crime, which targets people just for who they are. It coincides with publication of the annual hate crime statistics for England and Wales by the Home Office later this morning expected to see a rise in reported crimes.

Education is key to better public understanding of the importance of challenging prejudice and hate in all its forms. Four pupils from The Grove Primary School in Trowbridge won a Wiltshire Police hate crime poster competition and Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson and PCSO hate crime lead Andrew MacLachlan will be presenting their framed winning prints and talking to the children about hate crime this afternoon.

The winning posters will be published on the police website and social media channels this week.

The Force trains all new PCSOs as Hate Crime Advisors and now has 100-trained staff with awareness and understanding of this type of crime and the impact it has on victims and communities.

They give reassurance to victims, talk to them about the experience they have undergone and signpost to other services.

Sixteen new PCSOs have been trained by PCSO MacLachlan in their final week before they complete their initial 12-week classroom training and take up their community postings.

PCSO MacLachlan is running street stalls across the county and encouraging people to come and talk about any concerns and help the public have the confidence to come forward as victims or witnesses

• Tuesday 15 October – The Shires Shopping Centre, Trowbridge, 10am to 1pm

• Wednesday 16 October – The Brunel Centre, Swindon, 11am to 3pm

• Thursday 17 October – Emery Gate Shopping Centre, Chippenham, 10am to 3pm

• Friday 18 October – Guildhall Square, Salisbury, 11am to 3pm.

A hate crime or a hate incident is hatred or hostility - perceived by the victim or any other person - based on someone's race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability.

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