A PROJECT has been launched across the Bournemouth conurbation to help tackle hate crime against staff working within the night time economy.

Citizens Advice Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) has been funded by the Dorset Police Crime Commissioners Office to raise awareness around hate crime, with regard to Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff. The initiative will also show victims where they can access support from services.

Ebi Sosseh, project coordinator, said: "The night time economy workers often work in challenging circumstances, where their personal safety can be compromised by prejudice, abusive language and hate, just based on their race.

"The support offered will be timely to know that we are here for them."

Citizens Advice BCP believes recent statistics have shown that takeaway workers, taxi drivers, security and off-licence staff from BAME backgrounds suffer more from hate crime.

The charity also says that it is estimated that the UK economy is losing £2.6bn due to ethnic minority discrimination.

A Citizens Advice BCP spokesman said: "The current political and social climate has meant that there has been a surge in the number of hate crime reports.

"There has been a greater willingness to report, however there is still much more needed to be done to tackle hate crime.

"This is more relevant than ever, as the country edges closer to ‘Brexit’."

Figures released by the Home Office, in October, revealed there were 726 hate crime reported across Dorset in 2018, an increase of 29 per cent compared to the previous year.

Charity bosses and faith leaders called for urgent action in response.

Two thirds of the 726 hate crimes in Dorset were related to race.

According to the Home Office, spikes in reporting hate crimes nationally did occur after the EU referendum in 2016.

Locally, Citizens Advice BCP wants to build on the start they have made in raising awareness in schools, offering one-to-one support, developing community champions and providing frontline staff training on effective reporting.