YOUNG people in Teesdale are supporting a county-wide campaign to help keep rural communities free of hate.

The campaign, Hate Hurts, is being led by Durham and Darlington Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg to raise awareness and encourage reporting of hate crime.

Now the young people of YMCA Teesdale, in Barnard Castle, are helping to promote the campaign at their headquarters in Barnard Castle and in their schools.

Hate crime describes a range of illegal criminal behaviours committed against someone else because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or some other perceived difference.

It can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, both online and offline, and damage to property.

However, hate crime can also take place in rural areas, where people who are perceived to be different may stand out and be victimised.

YMCA Teesdale’s operations director Rachel Dyne said: “We are proud to support this campaign. Young people should be educated in what hate crime is and how to report it and we will actively work in order to ensure all our young people are equipped with this information.”

The young people have put Hate Hurts campaign stickers in their windows and posters and leaflets on display.

Corey Playle, 13, of Barnard Castle, said: “I think hate crime is horrible and if you see it happening you should tell someone as quickly as you can.”

Casey Darke, 16, of Stainton Grove, added: “The campaign is a good idea because it makes people more aware. Victims will feel more confident about reporting because they have got people supporting them.”

Youth worker Rebecca Pearson said: “This campaign is really helpful because it will open young people’s eyes to what hate crime is. Teesdale isn’t necessarily as diverse as other areas and people can stand out. Our young people are respectful, but the campaign educates them about how some people might be at risk of hate crime.”

Mr Hogg added: “Young people have a huge role to play in helping us to stamp out hate crime and to educate others. I am encouraged by the tolerance shown by today’s young people, but the sad truth is that they may also be victims of hate crime so it’s important that they know how to recognise it and report it, as well as helping to spread the word.”

To report a hate crime, visit, call 101 or 999 in an emergency.

To follow the Hate Hurts campaign, visit, on Facebook @PCC.Durham and on Twitter @DurhamPCC