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Race hate crime numbers hit a three year high across the South of England

An NSPCC investigation has found race hate crimes against children across the South are at a three-year high.

The children's charity says 201 offences were recorded in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight alone in 2017/18 with toddlers and babies among the victims.

That's almost four reports a week and is an increase of 66% on the previous year.

In the Thames Valley 248 offences were recorded locally in 2017/18.

That's an increase of 71% over the last three years - and in that time 56 victims were recorded to be under 10 years old.

Childline counsellor Atiyah Wazir said:

“Over the eight years that I’ve volunteered as a counsellor it is just as heart-breaking every single time a child tells you they wish they looked different.

“These children have been made to feel shame and guilt and sometimes dare not tell their mums or dads about it because they don’t want to worry or hurt their feelings.

“I want every child to know that this bullying is not ok, they have nothing to be ashamed of, and Childline is always here to listen.”

Head of Childline John Cameron said:

“Childhood bullying of this nature can cause long term emotional harm to children and can create further divisions in our society.

“If we see a child bullying another because of their race we need to tackle it head on, by explaining that it’s not ok and how hurtful it is.

“I would urge any child who is being targeted because of their race to contact Childline, and any adult to call the Helpline if they are worried about a child.”

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