Cleveland Police and the PCC for Cleveland are supporting Hate Crime Awareness Week and are reminding people to use the online reporting tool TrueVision at http://www.report-it.org.uk
The term ‘hate crime’ refers to any crime against a person which is perceived to be motivated by a person’s hostility or prejudice against certain characteristics including race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGB&T) organisation, Hart Gables, is among many organisations across Cleveland who act as a third party reporting centre for those who may be unable or unwilling to report offences directly to the Police.
Sarah Lewis, Strategic Development Manager at Hart Gables, said: “We are currently working alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Crown Prosecution Service to develop a set of hate crime booklets for victims which tell the story of a victim’s journey and explores their options so that they have a clear understanding of Police procedures, what happens with the Crown Prosecution Service and what to expect at court. This has been developed after consultation with the LGB&T community in Teesside.
“Hate crime is so widespread it touches the lives of people locally and globally. We would encourage anyone suffering from any form of hate to please come forward and report their incident to Cleveland Police or third party reporting centres.”
“In order for us to demonstrate that hate crime is happening in our community, we need people to share their experiences and let the wider community know that hostility towards certain groups of people still exists. Our service offers a one to one support service for anyone dealing with any form of hate.
“We are also working in conjunction with the LGB/T Federation to recruit ‘Hate Crime Advocates’ – they are volunteers who will be fully trained to work with victims from within the area and offer further support.”
PCC Barry Coppinger last year funded new roles within the Police to help those subjected to hate crime. These included a Community Cohesion Coordinator, Refugee and Asylum Seeker Coordinator and two Hate Crime Investigators. All have aided vulnerable victims who have been subjected to hate crime and are involved in publicising key events taking place next week. They will also be distributing Hate Crime leaflets which detail the various methods of contacting the police and third party organisations to report hate incidents.
Three school liaison officer posts were also funded by the PCC and the officers have been offering support to schools across all four districts on tackling antisocial behaviour and hate crime. On Thursday 19th October officers will be conducting welcome and educational activities along with Stockton Borough Council for children of the travelling families who provide Yarm Fair.
Mr Coppinger said: “We are committed to treating every report of a hate incident seriously. These unacceptable crimes cause great harm to individuals and to society as a whole, and I welcome the chance to once again express my support for this campaign.
“My office prepared a DVD on disability hate crime for use in primary schools which was very well received. Our latest undertaking was to fund the Regional Refugee Forum to work with Refugee led Community Organisations across Cleveland to produce a video using authentic refugee voices to explain to new arrivals how the criminal justice system works in this country and how to seek help with hate related incidents – the video is in its final stages and I will be attending an open lecture at Teesside University on Tuesday 17 October with keynote speaker Professor Matthew Feldman, where the preliminary showing of the video will be aired.
“We will once again show support for Show Racism the Red Card this week in conjunction with Middlesbrough Football Club by supporting Wear Red Day on Friday 20th October, which is an opportunity for staff to show their commitment to tackling racism and prejudice by wearing red. Show Racism the Red Card will also be offering training to our officers under this banner next month to heighten awareness of Hate Crime issues.”
Ellie Lowther, founder of Cleveland Trans Aware added: “It is very important for all hate incidents to be reported as there are many reasons why Trans is the most unreported insofar as hate crime figures are concerned. We must tackle each and every one of these factors head-on if we are to move towards a safer, more inclusive society.”
Chief Superintendent Alastair Simpson added: “Raising awareness of hate crime and working with partners to tackle it remains an absolute priority for the Force.
“I would urge anyone who believes they have been subject to a hate crime to come forward and I can guarantee they will be fully supported throughout any investigation. This doesn’t necessarily need to be done at a police office - there are now many places which offer the facility to report such crimes (list included).”
Note to Editors:
Events throughout the week include:
16th October – Hate Crime stall – Teesside University
17th October – Hate Crime display – Students Union Teesside University 11-2pm
17th October - Hate Crime Lecture - 5.30pm Teesside University, Curve Building
19th October – Hate Crime Event – Connecting Communities, Arc Stockton
19th October - School liaison Officers/Stockton Borough Council Travelling Families input
20th October – Hate Crime stall – Teesside University
20th October – Show Racism the Red Card Wear Red Day– Conjunction with Middlesbrough Football Club
All Week - Input to schools throughout the area on ASB and Hate Crime
Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017