Barnfield College has become an official hate crime reporting centre in an effort to help police crack down on instances of hate crime.

Working closely with Bedfordshire Police, the college will allow students and staff who may have been victims of, or witnesses to, a hate crime to talk about their experiences with someone they are familiar with.

Members of the public will also be welcome to visit the centre, with a dedicated hotline also in place for victims who wish to report an offence anonymously.

The college is the first educational establishment in Bedfordshire to become a hate crime reporting centre, and members of staff at both the college’s campuses are trained to take statements and submit them to the police through an online portal.

A hate crime is defined as an offence against an individual solely because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, disability or any other perceived difference.

“We are delighted to be working with the police to provide a platform that will encourage victims and witnesses of hate crime to come forward and report incidents, with confidence,” said Beth Taylor, the college’s head of safeguarding.

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