HANS KUKREJA (HAS, Mar 6) asks what action Durham Constabulary and others are doing to reduce hate crime, at a time when the number of reported hate crimes is increasing.

One of the key messages of the Hate Hurts campaign, launched this week, is that people who experience hate crime, or witness it, should report it.

Hate crime is much under-reported across the country, and that means that perpetrators are not being penalised, and victims are left feeling isolated and unsupported.

This has to stop. The fact that the number of recorded hate crimes has risen in recent years reflects higher levels of reporting.

Victims should be confident that the police take hate crime seriously and they should have the support they need to come to terms with their ordeal.

This is one of the few occasions on which the police are wanting to see a rise in reported crime.

My plea to local people is, if you recognise something as a hate crime, please report it.

You can find out more about the Hate Hurts campaign at www.hatehurts.co.uk

Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner