Reports of hate crimes in West Mercia have more than doubled in the last five years, the 'I am ME!' project, backed by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion, has made significant strides in combating such offences.

The initiative, launched in October 2022 with a generous £82,000 investment from the PCC, has already recorded remarkable success, seeing reductions in hate crime reports across various areas of West Mercia. Telford and Wrekin, in particular, witnessed the largest decline at 36 per cent, while South Worcestershire experienced the smallest decrease at 17 per cent over the past year.

With the project's impressive track record, Commissioner Campion has renewed funding for 'I am ME!', ensuring its continuation until March 2024. Over the previous year, it has rolled out 30 distinct programmes focused on awareness, training, and outreach, successfully reaching close to 500 individuals. The core objective? To help individuals grasp and comprehend the profound implications of hate crime.

Despite these positive results, a significant number of hate crime offences remain unreported. Recognising this, the PCC is vigorously advancing measures, in line with his 'Safer West Mercia' plan, to prioritise the needs of victims and survivors.