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Friday, 24 January, 2003, 18:47 GMT
Report exposes rural race problem
Asian actor in front of racist graffiti
Many victims suffered racist graffiti at home or work
People from ethnic minorities are 10 times more likely to suffer a hate crime in the countryside than in a town, a new report has revealed.

An alarming number of race crimes were committed in Dorset last year, according to the study commissioned by the local race equality council.

Most were attacks on homes and businesses owned by people from ethnic minorities, often including racist graffiti.

Muslims, travellers and asylum seekers were most at risk from hostility.

Beverley Bernard, acting head of Comission for Racial Equality
This is an eye-opener for rural racism campaigners

Beverley Bernard, Commission for Racial Equality
The findings come as BBC Comic Relief offers to pay for a worker to campaign against racism in the county.

The racial harassment officer will work for the Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC) in Bournemouth, who commissioned the report from University College Chichester.

Ann Khambatta, director of Dorset Race Equality Council, said: "Now more than ever we need to combat negative attitudes towards black and minority ethnic people.

"Our local leaders should publicly welcome and embrace the contribution that black and minority ethnic people make to this country."

Diversity training

Dorset Police Chief Constable Jane Stichbury said the force was working with the Dorset Race Equality Council to improve the level of reporting of racially motivated crimes.

She said: "In July, the force successfully launched, together with Dorset Racial Equality Council and all the county's local authorities, a scheme to encourage third parties to report racist incidents."

Ms Stichbury also said officers were receiving a high level of diversity training.

The report, Racism and the Dorset Idyll, is launched at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester on 30 January by Beverley Bernard, acting head of the Commission for Racial Equality.

Ms Bernard said: "This is an eye-opener for rural racism campaigners.

"It will ensure that race equality initiatives are specifically targeted to tackle the issues raised in the report."


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08 Nov 02 | England
28 Oct 02 | England
03 May 02 | Scotland
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