Police officers will kick off a hate crime campaign by taking part in a football match with Premier League footballers.

A seven-a-side tournament will be held on Sunday (October 13) and those taking part will include Hertfordshire Constabulary officers, and players from Watford, Arsenal, Hertford, Cheshunt and Stevenage football clubs.

The matches will take place from noon to 2.30 pm at Hertford FC’s ground to mark Hate Crime Awareness Week (October 12 to 19).

Hate crime officer for East Herts PC Terasa Holden said: “We have at least one police officer in each team during the tournament, which has been organised to highlight that hate crime will not be tolerated in football or our communities.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s hate crime officers will be out in the county all week with information stands in town centres, community centres, schools and colleges.

Officers will also be handing out leaflets to explain what hate crime is and how and where to report it.

A hate crime is a criminal offence that is targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s hate crime lead, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Treadwell said: “It is important that everyone understands what hate crime is and how to report it.

“We take reports of hate crime very seriously but also understand not everyone will feel comfortable speaking to police.

“Our website provides information online to better understand what hate crime is and where people can get support if they need it.”