The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire has suggested its officers should take tea with the Gurkhas to strengthen ties with the community.
It comes after Julia Mulligan ordered a report which found that communities in the area are not reporting racist hate crimes because people are either conditioned to not recognise abuse, or because of concerns about “historical racism in policing”.
The large Gurkha population at Catterick Garrison forms the majority of the largest non-white group in the county, which totals more than 1,000 people. The report said:
“North Yorkshire and York is predominantly ethnically white – those non-white communities therefore are comparatively very small and in isolation, perhaps becoming ‘easy targets’.”
The report found that many people weren't sure if name-calling and non-physical abuse counted as crimes, whilst others didn't consider verbal attacks important.
It also found that some incidents occurred because Gurkhas felt they were mistaken for Muslims.
Some who took part in the survey, meanwhile, said they 'kept themselves to themselves' to avoid any further crime.
But North Yorkshire Police says it doesn't want victims to have to live with abuse - because they don’t realise there is an alternative - any more.
Police and Crime Commissioner Mulligan said: “I have always known that Hate Crime is under-reported, but the reasons why have been less certain.
“This report provides the police and partners with valuable insight into the barriers that contribute to low reporting in some communities. I hope it proves to be a milestone in improving the service from here on in."
“It is also important to say that police are already working on improvements, such as a dedicated helpline facility introduced earlier this year. I am sure this report will assist in strengthening their response yet further."
Find out more about the Commissioner's Hate Crime report on her website here