PCC Barry Coppinger launches the community ambassador training
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has launched the first training event for community ambassadors who will help to report and identify hate crime across Teesside.
The network of hate crime reporting champions will help the drive to raise awareness of the issue and increase reporting to truly reflect what is happening on the streets so victims can be better supported.
The training will be given to professionals who work with those in the community who may be a target for hate crime – this includes people with learning and physical disabilities, people from Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgendered groups, and those who could be targeted due to their religious beliefs or ethnicity.
Carers and families will also benefit from the training so that they can identify when those close to them are being victimised.
The network is one step on from the creation of third party reporting centre’s across Cleveland, where people can go to report crimes or incidents to an independent person if they do not wish to go directly to the police.
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: "It shouldn’t be victims who have to live with the weight of hate crime on their shoulders, but the perpetrators who should live with the weight of the law.
"I’m determined to do whatever possible to ensure that victims feel able to tell someone about what they are dealing with and that hate crime is brought out into the open. This network of reporting champions is definitely a step in the right direction and I’m pleased to launch their initial training."
Inspector Dan Maddison, who has developed the network, said: "Many people who witness or are victims of hate crime have often learned to accept it as part of daily life. We need to spread the message that it shouldn’t be a part of daily life and that there is support available. This network will help people to report incidents and understand what will happen if they do."
Linda Lord, who works with learning disability groups in Middlesbrough and who helps to lead the network, said: "Next week is learning disabilities week and we want to raise awareness of the impact of bullying and abuse on people with learning disabilities. People need to understand that bullying, poking fun or taking advantage of people with learning disabilities may be a crime and that police take such matters seriously. These training events and developing the network further can only help with that."
Anyone who wants more information should contact Inspector Dan Maddison on the non-emergency number 101.
Posted on Friday 13th June 2014