COUNCIL bosses are urging support for victims of hate crime.

In Hyndburn, 138 hate crimes were reported over the course of 2018/19, down from 142 in the previous year.

Nationally, police estimate half of all hate crimes across the country go unreported.

Hate Crime Awareness week encourages local councils to work with their partners to tackle hate crime and support victims.

This year’s theme, Spread Love Not Hate, works to remind local areas on the power of love in the face of prejudice and hatred.

Hate crime is defined as any crime targeted at a person because of prejudice towards their disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Leader of Hyndburn Council, Cllr Miles Parkinson, said: “Hate crimes make people feel isolated and alone, that’s why we are encouraging partners to tackle this type of crime and show support to the victims.

“Hyndburn rejects all forms of discrimination or persecution because of someone’s gender, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.”