Film shown in Beds schools to tackle hate crime

20 October 2018, 09:25 | Updated: 20 October 2018, 09:34

Thousands of children across Bedfordshire and other parts of the region are being taught about hate crime through an innovative video which Bedfordshire Police has sent to schools to stream to their pupils during National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

The film launched at Stopsley High School, in Luton, this week and is being shown to students in year five and above.

The force's Community Cohesion Champions, who are aged between 13 and 15-years-old, have made the film entitled #WeHateHateCrime, in association with Bedfordshire Police, education charity the Anne Frank Trust and True Vision, the online reporting tool for hate crime. It was created to raise awareness of what hate crime is, how it affects victims and how to report it. It's made by young people, for young people.

Hate Crime Sergeant Carl Perri said: "We asked our champions to help us make the film for their peers on the topic of tackling hate crime. The champions planned, scripted and appeared as actors in the film with dramatisations which are relatable to young people.

"Schools can incorporate the video into their classroom learning to encourage discussions around how hate crime impacts victims and who can report and where they can report any hate crimes either as a victim or witness, encouraging victims not to suffer in silence.

"We take hate crime extremely seriously as it can have a devastating impact on victims and can leave them isolated, vulnerable and even suicidal, after being threatened, attacked or abused, often repeatedly, just because someone takes a disliking to their identity."

Assistant Headteacher of Stopsley High School Martin Atkinson added: "We were really pleased to launch the video at our school, as two of our students starred in it and we also have a strong relationship with both Bedfordshire Police and the Anne Frank Trust, having had hundreds of our pupils go through the trust's programme. 

"A number of them have trained to become Hate Crime Ambassadors who carry forward the vital messages to other year groups. We think it's really important to teach them about hate crime at a young age and educate them about the impact of prejudice and discrimination."