'Hate crimes' motivated by prejudice will not be tolerated this New Year's Eve police are warning.

Thames Valley Police are working closely with the Royal Borough - where much of East Berkshire night time econony is concentrated - to target people who abuse taxi and private hire drivers, operators, door staff, taxi marshals and fast food outlet staff on the grounds of perceived race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

The Christmas and New Year season is notoriously a time when hate crime peaks.

To raise awareness, officers have been providing leaflets and advice to licensed premises, door staff and taxi drivers. Businesses are being asked to recognise if members of staff are becoming victims of hate crimes, understand that it is a police matter and to report it.

Inspector Lucy Price, said: "During the Christmas and New Year period, more people are expected to be out enjoying themselves during the night time economy. We want to remind the public that hate crimes can have a lasting effect on victims, so please be mindful of your behaviour and the implications your actions could have.

"If you witness any suspicious behaviour or an incident of hate crime, please do not hesitate to report it to the police. All hate crime reports will be taken very seriously and will be investigated."

For further advice and support, please visit the Thames Valley Police website.

For regular updates on crime and disorder in your area you can sign up to www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk