Bolton Council, Bolton at Home, GMP and voluntary groups and charities are joining forces to mark Greater Manchester Hate Crime Awareness Week between January 20 and 26, with a series of events and awareness raising activities.
Voluntary groups will be running information stalls at Bolton University, Royal Bolton Hospital and the Mental Health Independent Support Team charity shop on Great Moor Street throughout the week. These will promote awareness of mental health issues and disabilities and aim to discourage people from committing hate crime.
On Saturday January 25, Bolton Wanderers Community Trust will be holding a football tournament for 12-18 year olds at the Reebok Stadium themed around community cohesion, followed by a workshop for young people to discuss hate crime in the Community Learning Zone.
Events to raise awareness of disability hate crime will also be taking place. On Wednesday January 22, ‘Strictly Wheelchair’ will perform wheelchair dance with the opportunity for anyone to come along and try it out for themselves at Victoria Hall between 1-4pm; whilst on Saturday January 25, AFC Masters, a local football team for people with disabilities will be playing a match against Greater Manchester Police.
Youth groups will also be getting involved, with Harmony Youth Project delivering a dance and musical performance themed around hate crime on Friday 24th January, while Raise the Youth foundation will be working with schools to deliver a presentation which tackles the negative connotations associated with the word ‘gay’.
Finally, Bolton Clarion Choir will be commissioning an original song about hate crime awareness which will be performed in Bolton town centre on Saturday January 25.
Councillor Derek Burrows, Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: “Hate crime is completely unacceptable and we are working with our partners to end it completely. We hope that the events and activities we are organising as part of this week will raise awareness of hate crime and encourage people to take a stand against it.”
Hate crimes and incidents can be experienced by anyone. Victims and witnesses can report, anonymously if they wish, by calling the police non-emergency number on 101 or online via True Vision at www.report-it.org.uk.