The victims of race hate crime in Thanet can now speak out and help to tackle the problem by calling a racial incident number.
The freephone number, 0800 138 1624, is available 24 hours a day and callers can pass on information about the incident, choosing whether they want to give their contact details or remain anonymous. Follow up action will be taken in all cases, unless the caller asks for no further action.
The service is being run by a partnership of organisations across Kent, including local Councils, Kent Police and Lifeline. Calls are answered by a trained person from Lifeline and will then be passed on to the appropriate organisation to take action. The number does not replace the existing emergency service. Anyone in imminent danger or who is reporting a crime in progress should still call 999.
Cllr. Ingrid Spencer, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Services, said: "Thanet Council has a zero tolerance policy on race hate incidents. We all need to work together to stamp out these appalling incidents and this freephone number gives victims of race hate incidents a voice to speak out at any time of the day or night to report these crimes. Anyone calling the report line can rest assured that action will be taken, unless they specifically request no further action. That's how committed all the partners are in this scheme to tackling race hate crime and wiping it out once and for all."
Posters advertising the service in a range of languages, including Kurdish, Polish, Czech, Bangladeshi, Farsi, Turkish and Urdu, have been distributed around the area.