A ROUND the clock helpline as been launched for victims of hate crime.

Police, fire and crime commissioner for Essex Roger Hirst has provided £22,500 from the community safety fund to Stop Hate UK to launch the service.

As well as providing emotional support, advice will be available on staying safe in the community, along with navigating the criminal justice system and how to hold statutory and other bodies to account.

Lauren McSpadden is the victim support hate crime champion who works with the Strategic Hate Crime Prevention Partnership to raise awareness of the Stop Hate UK line.

She said: “The funding is crucial to the provision of this line in Essex.

"Without the funding, victims of hate crime would not have access to a 24-hour line in Essex.”

The dedicated Essex number – 0800 138 1625 – gives victims an opportunity to talk about their experiences and to explore their options, whether that be to take things further by reporting to the police or to get advice on housing.

Lauren added: “Often, victims want to call someone for help out of normal office working hours.

“The charity has a really good knowledge of online hate crime and can give victims the right information and support, with experts victims can speak to any time of the day or night.

"The helpline is really useful if victims need immediate emotional support out of hours.”

Mr Hirst said: “This service offers 24 hour expert advice and guidance which I really hope will help anyone who has been a victim of hate crime.

“Victims are at the heart of everything we do.

"If we can offer the right kind of support and guidance that not only helps people recover from being a victim of crime but also helps to bring their perpetrators to justice then that is a good thing.”