Region unites to say Merseyside is No Place for Hate

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is uniting with partners to reinforce the message that Merseyside is No Place for Hate to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2022.

Emily Spurrell is taking part in a partnership week of action between Saturday 8 and Friday 15 October, with events in every area of Merseyside to tackle incidents of hate and urge anyone affected to report it and seek help.

The campaign will see the Commissioner working with Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, the region’s five local authorities, housing providers and representatives from her specialist support services to increase understanding of the impact of the crime and encourage victims to speak out.

As part of the week-long initiative, partners will urge anyone who witnesses or experiences hate crime to report it either to Merseyside Police, who have a team of dedicated hate crime coordinators, or to independent charity Stop Hate UK, who are funded by the Commissioner to deliver a 24/7 third party reporting helpline.

They will also be promoting the three dedicated support services funded by the Commissioner through her Victim Care Merseyside service to provide specialist support according to the type of abuse which has been experienced – the Anthony Walker Foundation for victims of racial or religious hate crime, Daisy Inclusive UK for those who have suffered disability hate crime and Citizens Advice Liverpool for victims of LGBTQ hate crime.

The activities will kick off on Monday with a partnership walkabout and leaflet drop in St Helens, spreading the anti-hate message in the Moss Bank area of the Borough. On Wednesday, the campaign will move to North Birkenhead where partners including local Councillors, representatives from Merseyside Police, Wirral Council, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and Magenta Living will promote the details of Stop Hate UK and the other support services across the area.

On Thursday, the campaign will head to Bootle where partners will come together at the Strand shopping centre to promote the No Place for Hate message, while on Friday the Commissioner and her team will unite with partners for events in Kirkby in the morning and in Everton in the afternoon.

Throughout the week, the Commissioner will also be promoting the You’re Safe Here initiative which encourages venues in Liverpool to sign up to become safe places for those who feel vulnerable while out in the city centre.

This week of action follows a series of partnership events undertaken since the Commissioner was elected focused on raising awareness of hate crime support services in areas where incidents have taken place.

Merseyside’s Police 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.

“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 have no place here.”

Emily added, “Nobody should suffer fear, intimidation and abuse simply because of who they are or the life they lead and even one victim of hate crime, is one too many.

“Hate crimes are known to have devastating, long term consequences for those who are targeted. We also know that if hate-fuelled attitudes are not tackled at an early stage they can escalate and lead to very serious crimes.

“Despite this we know most people who experience hate crime still do not report it.  That’s why we’re determined to raise awareness of this insidious and harmful crime and encourage anyone affected to speak out.

“Please don’t suffer in silence – there are so many organisations on hand to help.”

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said, “Hate crime is a deeply personal attack and we know how much courage it can take for people to report it so that we can take action.

“We aim to ensure victims are supported at every step, with committed and dedicated people who do their very best for victims every day.

“From police officers that are the first to attend an incident and specially trained detectives that will support victims with sensitivity and compassion, through to the vital work of colleagues in our Witness Care Unit.

“We work closely with our partners to ensure that we can offer every person who is a victim of hate crime a pathway to specialist support if they feel they need it.  There is no place for hate in our city and we will continue to work with our communities and partners to make Merseyside a safer place for everyone who lives in, works in and visits the region.”

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Cllr Pam Thomas, said, “No-one should get abuse because of the colour of their skin, their sexuality, religion or if they are disabled.

“It is only by demonstrating the scale of the issue that the police are able to direct resources at tackling the problem.

“That is why it is vital we do all we can to give people the confidence for them to report crimes, knowing that action will be taken. We also want people to know which organisations can help provide the appropriate support.”

How to get help

If you’ve been affected by hate, please reach out for help:

Tell Merseyside Police

Tell Stop Hate UK

The Anthony Walker Foundation – supports victims of racial and religious hate crime

Daisy Inclusive UK – supports victims of disability hate crime

Citizens Advice Liverpool – supports victims of LGBTQ+ hate crime

Anyone affected by crime can also visit the PCC’s dedicated victims’ website www.victimcaremerseyside.org  for help, advice and to get the contact details for organisations which can offer support.

Image: Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell

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