Watford Borough Council has committed itself to ensuring everyone in the town lives free from fear and discrimination.

A motion put forward by Liberal Democrat councillor Mark Hofman at a full council meeting last night was unanimously passed.

The motion talks about hate crime and the way in which it can destroy lives and devastate communities.

According to Home Office police crime figures, Hertfordshire Constabulary recorded 1,600 hate crime offences in the county in 2018/19 - the second highest in the eastern region of England, only behind Essex.

Hate crime can cover a range of factors including race, religion, sexual orientation, and disability.

Part of last night's passed motion reads: "Watford Borough Council is committed to defending the rights of everyone in our area to live free from fear and discrimination.

"Council fully condemns hate crime in all its forms and strongly believes that any acts motivated by prejudice or hate against a person are totally unacceptable.

"Watford’s diverse population is one of our great strengths."

To demonstrate the commitment to the motion, the council will recruit volunteer hate crime ambassadors from across the council family who will help raise awareness of the issue.

The council will also raise awareness of the impact of hate crime by supporting the annual hate crime awareness week and other initiatives, and stand up for the right of everyone in Watford to live free from hate.

A motion presented by Labour councillor Favour Ezeifedi calling on the council to continue to support Black History Month was also unanimously passed last night.

The motion read: "This council calls on the mayor and council to actively support and promote the annual ‘Black history month celebration’ to celebrate the rich contributions of the African and Caribbean communities in our town."

After the motion was passed, Labour group leader Cllr Nigel Bell said: "It was heart warming to see Cllr Ezeifedi deliver such an impassioned speech highlighting from her personal experience the difficulties and challenges she and other members of the Afro-Caribbean community have faced over the years.

"Her determination and hard work show how she has overcome so many challenges."

Labour councillor Sohail Bashir began the debate in light-hearted fashion by asking the mayor if he would consider making Watford a ‘Trump free zone’.

His comment came with the US president expected at a NATO summit which will be held at The Grove Hotel on December 4.