A NEW guide has been issued to help Hampshire businesses support staff affected hate crime.

Crime motivated by someone’s race, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability can have a longer-lasting effect than other kinds, the authors say.

The guide, Supporting Employees Affected by Hate Crime, was launched by the Safer North Hampshire Partnership, Enterprise Rent-a-Car Ltd and the assistant police and crime commissioner for Hampshire.

The project saw businesses, local authorities and crime experts work together to provide advice for all businesses in the county.

Assistant police and crime commissioner Enzo Riglia said: “Any crime lowers the quality of life for a victim, but a hate crime attacks a person’s core sense of identity and belonging within society.

“We know that hate crime victims have higher levels of depression, stress and anger, and for longer than victims of other types of crime. If such a crime is taking place in the workplace, where victims may not have the opportunity to avoid the perpetrator, it is absolutely vital that they can feel confident to report the incident to their line manager and rest assured that the organisation will deal with it appropriately and offer the right support.

“This guide will help businesses of any size do just that.”

The guide warns that hate crime is “rarely a one-off incident” and can have a devastating psychological affect.

It provides information for those who have experienced a hate incident or witnessed one, as well as a guide to reporting it to police or third parties.

Georgina Crockford from Enterprise Rent-a-Car, which provided a business perspective on the content of the guide, said: “At Enterprise, we are committed to providing an inclusive environment where employees and customers alike feel valued, supported and respected.

“Our culture is based on strong values and we strive to mirror the communities in which we operate.

“We wanted to be part of setting up this support network because we believe that diversity is about equality, fairness and creating a better society. Through this project, we aim to share our own best practice and work with other businesses to help develop a widespread culture that completely removes hate crime from the workplace.”

Karen Evans from Safer North Hampshire said: “It has been a privilege to work on developing this guide and we hope that it will provide businesses of all sizes with information and resources in order to enable them to support staff, clients and customers who experience hate crime.

“Hate crime is never acceptable and this guide will help to increase awareness of what constitutes a hate crime, how to report incidents and the support available.”

In the last three years, the Police and Crime Commissioner has invested more than £100,000 in initiatives that tackle hate crime and support hate crime victims.

Endorsed by the Safer Hampshire Business partnership, the new guide is the latest in a series to support businesses, managers and staff dealing with crime in the workplace.

The guide can be downloaded at hampshire-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/crime-prevention/business/violence-in-the-workplace