National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place between 9th – 16th October 2021 and Sefton Council, along with a range of partners, is highlighting what hate crime is, how it affects people, encourage people to report it, and let people know what is happening in the local area to tackle it.
Raising awareness and encouraging the reporting of hate crimes is a priority for the council and partners throughout the year, but it can use National Hate Crime Awareness Week to shine a spotlight on the work being undertaken to tackle it in all its forms.
Hate crime can involve people being targeted based on their disability, transgender identity, race, religion and sexual orientation. Merseyside Police believes that every person in Sefton and the wider Merseyside area has the right to go about their lives without being the target of abusive language or criminal behaviour motivated by hate or prejudice.
The Home Office has this week released its latest figures for hate crimes in England and Wales. There has been an overall increase in recorded hate crime with sexual orientation, disability, race and transgender hate crimes all showing marked increases. Religion hate crimes have dropped for the second year running.
The report states that the increases are believed to be due to better recording methods by police forces, greater awareness on the part of victims and the public, and also spikes in numbers of hate crimes following certain events.
To support National Hate Crime Awareness Week several activities are taking place across Sefton to help prevent hate crime, increase awareness and provide training.
- Community partnership event with the Police and Crime Commissioner Office and Sefton Hate Crime agency partners to carry out a targeted leaflet drop in key hot spot areas to encourage people to report hate crimes
- Deliver Hate Crime Awareness training to students at Hugh Baird College, St Bedford Road Primary, Sacred Heart School Crosby and Sefton Youth Detachment Workers
- Attend ‘People’s First’ in Bootle to discuss hate crime with group members
- Attend a Disability Hate Crime Steering Group hosted by Dr Leah Burch from Liverpool Hope University
- Visit Venus Women’s Centre coffee morning to discuss any hate related issues
- Videos posted across Sefton Council’s social media channels in support of National Hate Crime Awareness Week and the support available to victims
A spokesperson for Sefton Council said:
“We want to do everything we can to send the message out that hate crime will not be tolerated in Sefton and to give people the confidence to report abuse and not suffer in silence.
“It’s really important that people know about the various ways a hate crime can be reported in Sefton; whether it be by contacting the police directly, via the independent charity Stop Hate UK or at one of the many reporting centres across the Borough. Victims and witnesses will be supported to report hate crime and to receive advice and support.”
Superintendent Sarah Kenwright said:
“Merseyside has a reputation for being a welcoming, friendly place and there is no place here for hate crime.
“If you are aware of a repeat offender on your street, of an individual or family who are being subjected to hate, or if you see anything online or while out and about, please tell us. We want to actively encourage our communities to be our eyes and ears and firmly believe they play a crucial role in spotting and reporting a hate crime.
“I would also urge any victim of hate crime in Merseyside to please come forward. It is vital that we give our support to anyone who believes they have been subjected to abuse or left in fear because of who they are, and I want to reassure the public that we will take action against those responsible.
“We have officers and staff dedicated to protecting victims of hate crime who will make sure you will be supported at every step as sensitively as possible.”
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, said:
“National Hate Crime Awareness Week is an important date in the calendar for me. It gives us all the opportunity to celebrate and promote the rich diversity of our communities, while coming together to reaffirm and renew our commitment to challenging and tackling all acts of hatred and prejudice.
“At a time when our country sadly still feels quite divided and, in the wake of a recent increase in incidents of hate crime, it is more important than ever that we remain vigilant to combat discrimination, abuse and prejudice.
“Let me make it clear, crimes motivated by hate have no place in our society.
“I’m pleased to be working with partners and communities across the region to send out the message – loud and clear – that our region is diverse, it is inclusive and it is welcoming. Those who look to spread and breed hatred are have no place here.”
Everyone has a role in tackling hate crime and eliminating it from society. If you have witnessed a hate crime, or have any information, please contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact Centre. You can also call 101.
If, for any reason, you do not wish to the report to the police, Stop Hate UK will ensure you get the appropriate emotional and practical support. They offer a free, confident and accessible 24/7 reporting service for all victims of hate crime, including multi-lingual reporting, the Stop Hate UK app, phone line 0800 138 1625 and webchat www.stophateuk.org.
Anyone affected by hate crime can visit www.victimcaremerseyside.org for help, advice and to get the contact details for organisations which can offer support.