A NEW APP aiming to help the most vulnerable Dorset residents to report hate crime incidents has been launched.

Dorset Police have joined forces with Bournemouth council and Borough of Poole to create the app for iPhone and Android smart phones, which was unveiled at the Civic Centre in Poole.

It has been produced by C5 Consultancy and is based on their book, Helping Victims of Hate Crime.

James Vaughan, pictured far left, deputy chief constable for Dorset Police, said: “We are now in our 18th year of crime reduction in the county. However, hate crime is the one crime statistic that I am not pleased to hear is showing a reduction in reports.

“Over the last four years, the level of crime reporting has been reducing faster than overall reports of crime.

“A crime app which you download on your phone is not the solution, far from it, but I think that it is a very useful tool in the armoury of crime reporting.”

John Montague, pictured far right, deputy chief crown prosecutor for Wessex Crown Prosecution Service said that statistics show that only four in 10 hate crime victims report the incident to the police.

He also said that of all crimes that are reported to police which lead to the perpetrator being charged, 85-per-cent result in a conviction in court.

Cllr Lawrence Williams from Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “Hate crimes are destructive and often have a life-long impact on the victims. It is something that we have zero tolerance on and aim to eradicate. It simply has no way forward or place in our community.

“Everyone has the right to live free from fear or prejudice in Dorset or anywhere else for that matter, regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic minority, sexual orientation, or any other difference.”

A similar app has already been launched by Hampshire Police and receives an average 280 reports each month.

Dorset Police also reminded residents that they must continue to dial 999 in an emergency, or the non-emergency 101 number to contact them.

For more information, go to dorset.police.uk