Hate Crime Awareness

What is a Hate Crime?

A hate crime is defined as – any incident which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or anyone else as being motivated by prejudice or hate.

A hate incident is defined as- any incident which may or may not constitute a criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or anyone else as being motivated by prejudice or hate.

Hate crime can take many forms such as physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse. It can range from non-verbal intimidation to physical violence. Whichever form the abuse may take, it is important that you tell someone.

How is it dealt with in Suffolk?

The Suffolk Hate Crime Service is now closed.  However, information about the future development of support to victims of hate crime in Suffolk will be published on this Blog when available. Please keep checking back with us.

In Suffolk we take any form of hate crime seriously, no matter how insignificant you may feel it is at the time. Are being physically assaulted, called names, bullied? Are you feeling intimidated? Is your property being vandalised?  It is important that you tell someone when you have experienced a Hate Incident or Hate Crime even if you do not wish to be contacted by anyone.

How do I report it?

If you, or someone you know have been a victim of a hate crime and you want to report it, contact Suffolk Police or call them on 101. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers  anonymously.

Always in an emergency call 999

Additional Information

Stop Hate UK, a national organisation, has produced a film ‘What is Hate Crime’ with British sign language, sub-titles and voice-over.




Female Genital Mutilation Awareness

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a form of child abuse which has devastating physical and psychological consequences for girls and women and it’s illegal in the UK.  It’s also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM or to help someone trying to do this.

A new mandatory reporting duty for FGM was introduced via the Serious Crime Act 2015, following a public consultation and came into force on 31 October 2015. The duty requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report known cases of FGM in under 18-year-olds to the police.

What is FGM?

The World Health Organisation describes it as: “procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” (WHO, 2013).

Since 1985 it has been a serious criminal offence, under the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act, to perform FGM or to assist a girl to perform FGM on herself. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 tightened this law to criminalise FGM being carried out on UK citizens overseas.

Anyone found guilty of the offence faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

How can I find out more information?

The Government website, has lots more information about FGM including:

The NHS also has information concerning the effects of female genital mutilation. There are no health benefits to FGM. Removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue interferes with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies.

Free Support and Advice

Barnardos FGMThe NSPCC launched their own Free 24-hour advice and support helpline 0800 028 3550 to help protect UK children from FGM. They also ran a campaign on Twitter @NSPCC which called on mothers and carers to end FGM.  You can search for information on Twitter using the hashtag #endFGM.

The Barnardos National FGM Centre has a Knowledge Hub which is a free online interactive website for professionals which allows access information on FGM. Select the profession you are in, and search for specific information you are looking for.


General Advice and Information

Healthy Suffolk also has an online FGM Information Hub which has lots more information and useful contact details.

If you have any immediate worries or concerns about a child at risk in Suffolk contact Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board

Alternatively if you, or someone you know, would like to speak to someone about FGM or about Forced Marriage, contact Bal Howard.  Bal is Suffolk Police’s Project and Performance Officer, Honour Based Abuse (Forced Marriage & Female Genital Mutilation). She has a wealth of experience and is able to offer advice and expert knowledge in these sensitive cases. You can contact Bal on Suffolk Police’s 101 non-emergency number.

In an Emergency always dial 999




Staying Safe at Outside Events

Watching your favourite singer or band from the comfort of your armchair is great, but there’s nothing like being there live on the day. Tickets to big entertainment and sporting events sell out very quickly, which is very disappointing when you’ve really been looking forward to the big day.

This can make it very tempting to buy them from sources other than official websites. If your ticket is found not to be genuine you will be refused entry.  Here is some advice about purchasing tickets from Get Safe Online.

There are a number of great music events and festivals taking place in and around Suffolk in 2016, you may also be travelling out of County to events too.  We would like to encourage you to take a few minutes to think about your personal and property safety at these events, so in partnership with Suffolk Police, we have produced the ‘staying safe’ messages below. This information is also relevant for any/all large events.

Some of the events you may be planning on attending during August may include:

Audience Shot

Consider your own personal safety

Arrange a meeting point and agree a time in case you get separated from your friends. Drink too much and you’re likely to feel disorientated.  You can’t always rely on mobile phones, so it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t run your battery down completely. Some larger festivals may have recharging points.

  • Stick with friends and if you are camping, don’t go back to your tent alone
  • Enjoy the Festival/Event, but look after yourself and your friends
  • Keep hydrated and wear suitable clothing, taking into consideration the weather forecast.

Moderate your alcohol consumption

The best way to avoid problems from alcohol is to stay within the recommended limits. So keep a count of what you are drinking. Recognise when you’re drinking too quickly. Sometimes you might just be thirsty rather than really wanting an alcoholic drink. Don’t ruin your enjoyment of the festival by overdoing it and if the festival goes on for more than one day, give your body a break from the booze on at least one of the days and avoid morning drinking altogether.

Under the influence of alcohol you are more likely to find yourself in a vulnerable situation

Look After Your Valuables

Concerts and Festivals are not hotbeds of crime, but thefts do happen. They are more likely to occur if you have had lots of alcohol and you may not be aware of what’s going on around you.

Camping 1

If you are planning on camping at any of these or future events, check out ROSPA’s safety advice.

Try not to bring valuables like mp3 players or jewellery with you.

  • Don’t carry your wallet or phone in your back pocket
  • Do not leave valuables in your tent
  • If you do leave things of value in your car put them out of sight in the boot and make sure you lock your vehicle

Report any suspicious persons to a member of security at the event or to the Camp site Assistance Team. There are usually a number of Festival and Town Pastors also in attendance at many of the larger events.  These are people who will help anyone who needs assistance.

Please take some time to consider your personal safety and remain vigilant so you don’t become a victim of theft or any other crime.

Most Importantly
Have a wonderful time and Stay Safe

Dealing with Rural Crime

Suffolk is one of the safest places to live and work and the chances that you, your family or your neighbours will become a victim of crime are low. Suffolk is also a very rural county and incidents of ‘rural’ or ‘agricultural’ crime do occur and these incidents are taken extremely seriously by Suffolk Police.  Officers work with partners and landowners to provide advice and assistance to ensure that all is done to prevent rural crimes from occurring.

NFU Logo
Rural Crime Survey 2015

RFU Crime Map 2015

Reporting Suspicious Activity

  •  All communities are asked to remain vigilant and report suspicious behaviour to the police
  • Report individuals asking specific questions about, or taking pictures of, a facility or a farm’s processes
  • Report any attempts to purchase fertilisers, diesel, herbicides or pesticides by those not authorised or suspicious individuals
  • Take the registration number of any suspicious vehicles

Police Connect

To keep up-to-date with all the latest information about crime and policing issues in your area of Suffolk, sign up to the Free messaging service, Police Connect. To speak to someone at Suffolk Police, call the 101 non emergency telephone number.

However in an emergency always call 999 

Tractor/Equipment Security

Tractor equipmentAll property, including tractors/JCBs etc, should be uniquely marked, photographed and recorded somewhere safe. Details should include serial, chassis and model numbers.

Suffolk Police have a wide range of useful rural crime information, with topics range from equipment security to hare coursing, available on their website.

Shutting the Gate on Rural Crime Image
You can download the Suffolk Police Rural Crime Booklet which contains lots of useful information on Police rural crime initiatives. Suffolk Police also has a rural crime section and you can follow them on Twitter @RuralCrimeSfk

Fertiliser/Fuel Storage

Where possible store all fertiliser inside a dedicated locked building or compound.

Chemical Storage Bags

  • Do not leave fertiliser where it is visible to the public
  • Do not sell fertiliser unless the purchaser is known by you to be a bona-fide farmer or user
  • Record fertiliser deliveries and usage and carryout regular stock takes and Report immediately any stock discrepancy or loss to the police
  • Record any manufacturer code numbers from the bags and detonation resistance test certificates as you may be required to present them

Thefts from oil and diesel tanks are also on the increase. Here is some previously published information which suggests some simple steps to take to protect your storage tanks.

Watch Schemes

HorsewatchIn Suffolk there are a number of  ‘Watch’ schemes including: Farm Watch, Horse Watch, Allotment Watch, as well as the widely known Neighbourhood Watch. To read more about all about the different watch schemes and about how to join one, go to the Suffolk Police website.

The Charity Crimestoppers also launched the largest social media campaign in its 26 year history, specifically aimed at rural crime. Rural crime represents a major challenge to our society and it costs the United Kingdom in the region of £42,000,000 a year and this makes it a very lucrative source of income for the criminals.

The Health and Safety Executive has more information on farm safety and on the storage and transportation of fertilisers, particularly ammonium nitrate. They also have a multi-agency Leaflet about fertiliser storage.

Other useful sources of information about tackling Rural Crime include:

NFU Mutual
Farmers Guardian
Farmers Weekly
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

Shed and Garage Security

Losing property from your shed or garage can be costly and inconvenient, but tools from the shed can also be used to break into your house, therefore good security is essential.

Get Sheducated
Please take a few moments to consider the security of your shed using the following points, or download this Shed and Garage Security leaflet :

  • Make sure that the shed/garage is in good condition.  If the building is in poor condition, even the best locks won’t protect what is inside.
  • Make sure that the screws are concealed on fittings and hinges.
  • Fit mesh or bars inside the windows or board them up if you don’t use them.
  • Padlocks should be at least 6cm/2.5inches wide, hardened steel and closed shackle.
  • Lock the doors – even when you are at home.
  • Lock large items together with a good quality lock (www.soldsecure.com) or attach to them a shed shackle or ground anchor (www.securedbydesign.com)
  • Get a battery powered alarm or upgrade the house alarm to include outbuildings.
  • If you have a garage with a side access as well as an up and over door, consider fitting padlocks to the runners of the up and over door to prevent it from being opened.
  • Consider extra security for the garage (www.securedbydesign.com)

Further Security Tips:

When thinking about security, the Met Police and other Police Forces have put together a number of helpful YouTube videos.  One in particular by the Met Police is specifically about shed security.

Lockit_CheckitSuffolk Police have an ongoing home security campaign ‘Close it – Lock it – Check it’.  By following their simple precautions, you can reduce the chance of becoming a victim of burglary. If you would like to speak to someone about home security contact your Local Crime Reduction Officer on 101.

There are a number of ways to report incidents:

  • by using the Suffolk Police ‘report a crime’ webpage
  • by calling the Police 101 non emergency line
  • by reporting issues to Crimestoppers via their website
  • by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on:

Smaller Third Party Logo

Do not use the Police Non Emergency line in an emergency, or in a situation that requires an immediate police response


Staying Safe by Open Water

Each year colleagues in Suffolk Fire and Rescue team up with Anglian Water to reinforce messages about staying safe around water for Water Safety Week.

Be Water Aware

Cooling off in rivers, canals, ponds, quarries and lakes looks fun, but it can have deadly consequences. Every year emergency services are called to incidents where residents (particularly children and young people) get into difficulty when swimming in open water.

We would encourage everyone to share information about the dangers of cooling off in open water and to take heed of all water safety notices which warn of the dangers.



Drowning Prevention Week 2016Also every June the Royal Life Saving Society UK have their Drowning Prevention Week. This campaign highlights that one person drowns every 20 hours in the UK and hundreds more suffer life changing injuries through near drowning.

You can find out how you can get involved in their national campaign and help prevent drowning here.

Swimming in reservoirs is dangerous. 

Anglian Water has lots more advice about staying safe when visiting their water parks. These are operational sites and even the strongest swimmers can get into serious difficulties.

Dangers of cooling off in open water

The water may look calm on the surface, but there may still be strong undercurrents that could pull even a strong swimmer under. The water may also feel relatively warm on the

Swimming in Open Watersurface, but just a few feet below can be icy cold even in the hot weather and can very quickly cause severe cramp and hypothermia. There may be notices around warning of these conditions or whether swimming is even allowed.

Young people can often misjudge their swimming ability – they may view a river or lake as a tempting means of cooling off during a hot spell of weather, but fail to appreciate the harmful effects that the cold water can have on their stamina and strength.

Due to these dangers, we are urging people, particularly children and teenagers, not to swim anywhere other than in purpose-built and supervised swimming pools.

What to do if you see someone in difficulties

Around water - How to help

  • Get help: ring 999 or get someone else to do it. Alternatively if you are on your own without a mobile phone, call for help if you can see people nearby, or go and get help.
  • Think: of your own safety first. Don’t put yourself in danger by going into the water to rescue someone – you may get in difficulties in the water too.
  • Look: for any safety equipment close at hand such as lifebuoys or throwing lines.
  • Reach: a stick, scarf or clothes tied together can help you reach the person. Crouch or lie down to avoid being pulled into the water yourself.
  • Throw: a rope is best because you can then pull the person in. If you don’t have any rope, throwing something in that will float such as a football or even an empty plastic bottle will help in keeping the person afloat until help arrives.
  • Keep warm: once rescued, keep the casualty warm and ensure they get medical help as soon as possible.

Tombstoning – Why is it dangerous?

Tombstoning offers a high-risk, high-impact experience but it can have severe and life-threatening consequences.  This is because:

  • Water depths alter with the tide – the water may be shallower than it seems
  • Submerged objects like rocks may not be visible – these can cause serious impact injuries
  • The shock of cold water can make it difficult to swim
  • Getting out of the water is often more difficult than people realise
  • Strong currents can rapidly sweep people away

Tombstoning Check out ROSPA’s advice.

Key safety tips for staying safe near water

  • Alcohol and swimming do not mix – stay out of the water if you have been drinking.
  • Always watch your child while at the beach, lake or other natural bodies of water.
  • Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds.
  • Do not swim near motor boats, jet skis or other power vehicles.
  • Never interfere with lifesaving equipment – you might need it yourself.
  • Learn to spot and keep away from dangerous water.
  • Take safety advice – heed notices which warn you of the danger.
  • Children should always visit open water sites with a grown-up.
  • Swimming anywhere other than at purpose built and supervised swimming pools is highly dangerous and is not recommended.


More advice and information about water safety including garden ponds, ice safety, bath seats and child drowning can be found on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) website.

Royal Lifesaving Society logo


Further advice is also available from the Royal Lifesaving Society

Above all, whatever you are doing, have fun
and Stay Safe

Police Connect

Police Connect





Do you like to keep up-to-date with issues, events and meetings in your area? Yes, then this could be for you.

Police Connect is a messaging service connecting you to the very latest policing news for your area via e-mail, text or phone.

There is no charge for this service – all messages you receive are free.

You can register to receive information about the issues that most matter to you and be among the first to be alerted by police in the case of an emergency affecting your area.

There is a simple online process which takes only a couple of minutes and will ensure you get regular updates on crime and public appeals, safety advice and meetings and events. There is the option to receive information about a range of specific interest areas – such as ‘rural’ or ‘rivers and coastal’ – as well as updates for business owners and news from your Police and Crime Commissioner. The choice is yours.

For more information and details on how to Register go to the Suffolk Police Website.