DUDLEY will be marking National Hate Crime Awareness Week with two drop-in sessions to highlight the crime and encouraging reporting.

The national event has been organised by Stop Hate UK and runs from October 14 to 21.

People are invited to join sessions at Gather coffee shop in High Street, between 11am and 2pm on Thursday, October 19 or Victim Support in The Broadway on Friday, October 20, from 10am to 1pm.

Councillor David Vickers, cabinet member responsible for community safety, said: “These drop-in sessions are a useful way to find out more about what hate crime is and to report any concerns, or access help and support.

“It’s so important incidents are reported so victims can be fully supported and perpetrators brought to justice.

“Hate crime can take place anywhere, including online. It’s important to be clear that hate of any form will not be tolerated and does not have a place in our communities.”

There are a number of third party reporting centres in the borough where people can confidentially report and access help and support within their community, a list of these can be found at www.dudleysafeadsound.org.uk.

Hate crime can also be reported to the police via 101 or 999 in an emergency.