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 this week to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Emily Spurrell is taking part in a partnership week of action between Saturday 9 and 16 October, with events in every area of Merseyside to urge people affected by hate and prejudice to report it and seek help.

The campaign will see the Commissioner working proactively with Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, the region’s five local authorities 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 the police or to independent charity Stop Hate UK, who are funded by the Commissioner to deliver a 24/7 reporting helpline.

They will also be promoting the three dedicated support services funded by the Commissioner 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 event outside the fire station in Netherton, followed by a leaflet drop in the surrounding area encouraging people to report any concerns. A day-long event will also be held in Borough Road, Seacombe where the Commissioner’s team will join the mobile police unit to raise awareness and promote the support available to victims.

On Tuesday, a community awareness-raising session will be held in St Helens Town Centre attended by the Commissioner’s team, the mobile police unit and our community safety partners. Later that day, the Commissioner is hosting a hate crime awareness training event with youth workers from across Sefton.

On Wednesday, the Commissioner’s team are holding another walkabout and Stop Hate UK leaflet drop in Huyton and, on Friday, the community roadshow will head to Earlestown market, again supported by the mobile police unit.

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. The  Commissioner will also close a virtual LGBTQ+ hate crime seminar being hosted by Liverpool City Council to conclude the week and again reaffirm her commitment to tackling hate crime.

Emily 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.”

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. However, sadly most people who experience hate crime still do not report it.

“I am committed to raising awareness of this insidious and harmful crime, encouraging anyone affected to speak out. Please don’t suffer in silence – there are many organisations here to help. Merseyside Police are here to help, but I also understand there are many reasons why a victim may not wish to report to the police, that is why I commission an alternative service.

“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

“Anyone affected can also visit my dedicated victims’ website  for help, advice and to get the contact details for organisations which can offer support.”

Merseyside Police’s 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.”

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