Derbyshire's Police and Crime Commissioner is leading a campaign in a stand against hate crime during Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Hardyal Dhindsa, who is the Association of Police and Crime Commissioner's national lead for equality, is encouraging people to "add your voice to help spread the word that we are standing together against hate crime" and engage with the campaign on social media using #NO2HATE.
Hate Crime Awareness Week - taking place from 10 to 17 October - is a national week of action to encourage local authorities, key partners and communities affected by hate crime to work together to tackle local hate crime issues.
Mr Dhindsa said PCCs across the country are working hard to "challenge negative and derisive attitudes" and emphasised the importance of victims of hate crime speaking out.
He said: "As the Association of Police and Crime Commissioner’s national lead on Hate Crime, I want us all to challenge hate whenever we see or hear it.
"I am running my #NO2HATE campaign again this year to build on the great work and momentum from previous years and want you to add your voice to this campaign to help spread the word that we are Standing Together Against Hate Crime.
"It is a matter of deep disappointment to me that we continue to live in a society in which some people – a relatively small number – continue to promote their bigoted, biased and intolerant opinions. These beliefs not only damage individuals but wage riot on our wider society with their insidious infiltration into some communities.
"It is vital that victims of hate crime speak out, so that we can support them and seek justice on their behalf. I understand that this can be difficult, but it is essential if we are to overcome this all too often hidden crime."
Today starts #NationalHCAW & I want us all to challenge hate whenever we see or hear it. Join my #NO2HATE campaign to add your voice to help spread the word that we are #StandingTogetherAgainstHateCrime. For further information visit https://t.co/0wrxE5Bb62 PCC @HardyalDhindsa pic.twitter.com/cuWtMPidMB— Derbyshire PCC (@DerbysPCC) October 10, 2020
Mr Dhindsa went on: "This year, the week is particularly relevant in light of reports of hate crime relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, which frankly I find astonishing. It is equally astonishing that it is 21 years since the publication of the Macpherson Report following the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. Sadly, it highlights that there is more work to do if we are to succeed in driving out the bigotry, intolerance and ignorance that are the root causes of so much unacceptable behaviour.
"As the National lead for Equality on behalf of my fellow PCCs, I assure you that we are working hard to challenge negative and derisive attitudes. Those who seek to undermine these efforts will receive a tough sanction.
"There is no excuse for violence and I will join my fellow PCCs this week in making clear Derbyshire - alongside the rest of the country - has no time for hatred."