Bolton Be Safe Strategic Partnership has launched a new hate crime strategy as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week.
The strategy aims to tackle hate crime and increase confidence amongst victims in reporting these crimes, following the Government guidelines of ‘Challenge It, Stop It, Report It’.
As part of the strategy there will be targeted awareness programmes and training programmes for schools and community groups, to encourage people to recognise hate crime and challenge it. The partnership will also develop and promote a range of ways for people to easily report hate crime and hate incidents, as well as providing support to victims who do report crimes.
Finally, the partnership aims to take effective action against perpetrators by developing a joint response, as well as raising awareness of successful actions and prosecutions against perpetrators of hate crime.
The partnership hopes this will lead to an increase in the number of reported hate crimes, but a decrease in the number of repeat victims. It also hopes the strategy will increase the number of positive outcomes for victims, as well as improving victims’ confidence in the police and partner services and their tackling of hate crime.
Councillor Nick Peel, Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services said: “Many people still do not understand the definition of hate crime and don’t know that they can report it to the police. It is completely unacceptable to physically or verbally abuse someone else based on their race, sexuality, gender or appearance. We hope that this strategy will improve people’s awareness of what constitutes a hate crime and encourage victims to come forward and report this type of crime.
“We need to make all members of our community confident to report hate crime and to ensure that Bolton is regarded as a place where it is just not tolerated.”
Superintendent Andrea Jones of GMP said: “Greater Manchester Police are committed to working together with all our local communities and partners to support victims of hate crime by improving reporting pathways and the support we can offer as a partnership. Engagement with the public will identify and improve access for individuals and communities suffering from hate crime and we are committed to providing alternative and appropriate methods of reporting. We must continue our efforts to achieve our collective goal to eliminate all hate crime in our communities.”
The Be Safe Partnership is also providing one-off grants, administered through Bolton CVS, to local voluntary and community groups to undertake an activity or hold an event to raise awareness of hate crime during Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Bolton Council of Mosques will conduct research on hate crime, as well as training 50 young people to become hate crime ambassadors, whilst Bolton Hindu Forum will be holding a women’s empowerment event on Saturday 13th February, with particular focus on hate crime, what it is, what can be done about it, and how to report it.
Community groups and charities will also be carrying out activities, with Bolton Wanderers Community Trust organising a football tournament with 12-19 year olds. Meanwhile PATH (Friends of Haslam Park) will develop a series of six sketches based on hate crime to be performed at the Octagon Theatre in May and at a Bolton International Writing Project (BIWP) show in October. Lancashire Wildlife Trust will hold monthly events at The Hive on Moss Bank Park using multicultural food and the Hate Crime awareness "finger post trail" to engage people and families in the subject. Finally, the Sycamore Project ZAC’s will run workshops to record an anti-hate crime song. A CD with all the songs will be produced with artwork also designed by young people.