FOUR pupils from The Grove Primary School in Trowbridge have sent a message of hope to all victims of hate crime.

They have designed award-winning posters that will go up this week in key shopping centres in Chippenham, Salisbury, Swindon and Trowbridge and be used on the Wiltshire Police website and social media channels.

They are part of a special week of events and education to raise awareness of what constitutes hate crime and how to report it.

Wiltshire Police takes a zero tolerance approach towards hate crime, which targets people just for who they are.

Its campaign coincides with the publication of the annual hate crime statistics for Wiltshire showing a 22 per cent rise in reported crimes.

This week's National Hate Crime Awareness Week message from Wiltshire Police is that there's no place for hate in the UK.

They say education is key to better public understanding of the importance of challenging prejudice and hate in all its forms.

The children's messages of hope tell victims that it's okay to be different and that they should report those who conduct hate crimes.

The four poster designers - Macy, 11, Thomas, 9, Katy, 7, and Adam, 6 - are all pupils at The Grove Primary School in Hazel Grove, Trowbridge.

Adam and Macy were the Key Stage 1 and KS2 winners in the hate crime poster design competition, while Katy and Thomas were the KS1 and KS2 runners-up.

Katy said: "I hope that people will always be nice to each other", while Adam said: "It's okay to be different."

Macy added: "Hate hurts people's feelings, like when someone is calling you names", while Thomas said: "We have got to stamp out hate crimes."

Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson and Wiltshire Police hate crime lead PCSO Andrew MacLachlan presented the children with framed winning prints and talked to them about hate crime on Tuesday.

Mr Macpherson said: “I actively support Wiltshire Police's zero tolerance towards hate crime - it's never to be tolerated.

“There is never an excuse for this time of crime; however, the current political uncertainty in this country around Brexit, along with the anonymity social media can give can exacerbate this awful crime.

“No-one should feel threatened or unsafe because of who they are, the life they live and beliefs they hold; we are all human irrespective of race, sexuality or religion. Everyone deserves to be able to live peacefully in our world with all its wonderful diversity.

"I lead the county's multi-agency hate crime group which brings together police, local councils, victim support services and the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure we are working together to tackle these appalling crimes.

"We all need to work together to stop hate crime - please report it if you are a victim or you know someone who has been targeted. The police will take you seriously."

"Also, you will receive the utmost care from Horizon - the victim and witness care service. Victim Support can also offer emotional and practical help to those affected by crime."