A SUMMIT has been held to encourage victims of religious hate crime to come forward.

It came after research carried out by a university professor found some victims were reluctant to tell police about what had happened to them.

The conference of community leaders at Lancashire Police headquarters gave delegates the chance to discuss the reasons behind under-reporting.

Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Lancashire is a diverse community made up of people of different ethnicities, faiths and beliefs.

“This is something we should all be proud of – and it is part of what makes the county such a fantastic place to live.

“However, unfortunately we know that, as a result, incidents of hate crime do occur.

“This is not something we can shy away from. Lancashire Constabulary has the highest positive outcome rate in the country when it comes to dealing with incidents of hate crime, and all frontline officers and staff have received training. But now we need to ensure everyone in Lancashire is working together to put a stop to this abhorrent crime.”

The research was carried out by Dr Paul Iganski, from Lancaster University, and was commissioned by Lancashire County Council Representatives from the Lancashire Council of Mosques. The Hate Crime Hub also addressed the summit.

County Councillor Jennifer Mein, leader of of the county council, said: “We commissioned this report because we recognise the importance not only of combating hate crime but doing everything we can to stop it from happening in the first place.

“We are rightly proud of the religious and cultural diversity here in Lancashire and will continue to work with our partners to promote and maintain good community relations among people of all faiths across the county.”