Raising awareness of hate incidents and hate crimes, encouraging victims to come forward and ensuring a fast and effective response is a key priority for Wiltshire Police, says PCC Angus Macpherson.
A national report was published today (Thursday 19 July 2018) by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) - its first inspection into how forces respond to reports of hate crimes and support victims.
The report emphasises the importance of the police getting their response right first time from the start of their contact with victims. It gathered data from all 43 police forces and looked in more detail at six forces, although Wiltshire was not one of the six.
Mr Macpherson said: "I wish the inspectors had chosen to visit Wiltshire because the 'positive and innovative practices' they found in several forces elsewhere are happening here - and more besides.
"We've been working hard to change the culture internally to reflect the wide diversity our officers and staff come across in the communities we serve.
"Our workforce ratio is more or less 50:50 male to female, the Force has been awarded the Government's top rating as an organisation with a positive approach to employing people with disabilities and the Chief Constable and I are strong supporters of the Black Police Association.
"HM inspectors found Wiltshire Police to have a very high compliance rate in relation to accurate crime recording, which gives me confidence that hate crime incidents and crimes are being accurately logged and flagged. I also welcome the call handler training to maintain that high level of crime data integrity.
"I am closely involved with the multi-agency Hate Crime Group and proud that Wiltshire Police has a growing number of hate crime advisors.
"I will ensure the Force maintains, and builds on, its excellent work in this area," Mr Macpherson added.
Wiltshire takes reports of hate crimes extremely seriously - all calls to 999 and 101 are graded and responded to based on a risk assessment process assessing the level of threat, harm, risk and vulnerability of the victim.
"Hate crimes by their very nature tend to have vulnerable victims and usually demand a high priority or immediate response," said Superintendent Sue Austin, Force lead for Hate Crime.
"Hate crime victims are referred to Horizon, our victim and witness care team, which contacts victims who are vulnerable, feel intimidated or subject to serious crime. We also have 42 Hate Crime Advisors across the Force, working with vulnerable people in their communities and train all new PCSOs to become Hate Crime Advisors as part of their initial training.
"I welcome the recommendations of this report and will review our processes as a direct result to help us continue to improve our response to victims of these terrible crimes, " she added.