Sir Gary Verity has joined forces with a key figure in North Yorkshire policing to warn that Hate Crime will not be tolerated in the county.
The joint message follows a reported alarming rise in Hate Crime in other parts of the UK since the Brexit vote.
Nationally, more than 3,000 hate crimes and incidents were reported to police in the second half of June this year, a rise of 42% on 2015
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, and Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner of North Yorkshire, are appealing to residents and business to ensure people continue to be welcomed and embraced, something they stress has been a hallmark of Yorkshire communities for a long time.
In a joint statement they said: “Our message is this - North Yorkshire is an exceptional place to come and visit, Hate Crime is not tolerated in any way, shape or form, and we know residents and businesses will ensure that remains the case.”
Both of these well-known figures are keen to ram home the message that everyone is welcome in North Yorkshire, no matter the background, race, gender, ability, sexuality.
Speaking outside Harrogate Library, Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said “We are pulling together to remind everyone coming to North Yorkshire that this is one the most welcoming places in the country.
"You will be embraced by local people and businesses and we encourage everyone to ensure North Yorkshire’s trademark welcome is out in force."
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said, “After the referendum, now is the time for Yorkshire to ‘keep calm and carry on’, to keep proving to the world and each other that we are a welcoming and tolerant community that embraces diversity in all its forms."
Alongside North Yorkshire Police and members of the local Independent Advisory Group, Julia and Gary are also encouraging anyone who has been a victim of Hate Crime to report incidents to either directly to the police, to a third party reporting centre or via the Stop Hate UK helpline.
Members of the Harrogate Independent Advisory Group, set up by North Yorkshire Police were also in attendance at Harrogate Library.
The HIAG provides crucial support to North Yorkshire Police in ensuring that all police services, policies, procedures and practices are free from any kind of direct or indirect discrimination, regardless of age, disability, gender re-assignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
Thepublic in the Harrogate district are being urged to report any incidents of Hate Crime they may spot.
Harrogate Library is a third party reporting centre, where victims of Hate Crime can go to report any incidents.
Julia Mulligan: “There appears to have been an increase in Hate Crime in other parts of the country which is extremely worrying. Levels in North Yorkshire appear to be more stable but we would encourage anyone who has been a victim of Hate Crime to come forward to the police, or a third party, to ensure such despicable acts are dealt with properly.”
But Sir Gary Verity said he was confident Yorkshire would not succumb to the sort of abuse taking place elsewhere in the aftermath of the EU Referendum.
He said: “Yorkshire remains a beacon of tourism with the latest figures showing overnight trips to Yorkshire grew by 20% in 2015, one of largest increases in England. Whether domestic or international visitors, I know the Yorkshire public will help stamp out Hate Crime wherever they see it and continue to showcase Yorkshire as a friendly, attractive and inspiring place to visit.”