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A new 'Stop LGB & T' helpline has been welcomed by Ron Hogg, Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, to support victims of hate crime in County Durham and Darlington.
The charity Stop Hate UK recently received funding from the Equality and Human Rights Commission to provide a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGB & T) 24 hour Hate Crime helpline service across England, Wales, and Scotland.
The national helpline 0808 801 0661, provides a range of services including immediate emotional assistance, help for victims to report a crime or incident to the police, follow-up support as well referrals and links with other local agencies.
Reducing the impact of hate crime is one of the key areas that Ron is focusing on in his Police and Crime Plan 2015-17 and he is working closely with partner organisations, including the voluntary and community sector, councils and the police. He said:
"The launch of this helpline is a massive step forward for anyone locally who wants to report a LGB or T hate crime or incident, regardless of whether they area a victim or a witness. It will provide individuals with more choice and additional support from expert advisors.
"We take hate crimes and incidents very seriously and I hope that the launch of this new service will encourage more victims to come forward, either to the police directly, or by calling the helpline."
Emma Roebuck, Chief Officer at Gay Advice Darlington Durham said: "Any resource that improves the ability to report hate crime of any kind is a positive. Homophobic Biphobic and Transphobic hate crime is amongst the most difficult to report directly to the criminal justice agencies.
"I hope this can be added to the tool kit that will improve hate crime, its reporting and an increase in convictions."
Follow PCC Ron Hogg on Twitter: @RonaldHogg1, or for organisation updates: @DurhamPCC. You can follow GADD on: @GADDLive.
Note for editors:
- Stop Hate UK is a national charity which was established 20 years ago and has been providing a 24 hour helpline service in many areas of England to anyone affected by Hate Crime based on any aspect of their identity (disability, faith, gender identity, race or sexual orientation) or perceived identity since 2006.
- The new helpline provides assistance to:
- report, or receive support to report for the crime or incident,
- receive immediate emotional support,
- receive information and advice from a team of expert Hate Crime advisors,
- And/or be referred to the police either anonymously or with full details for investigation,
- And/or be referred local support agencies such as LGB&T, housing, social care, health and legal organisations wherever appropriate,
- To receive follow-up telephone-based advocacy as appropriate
- Further information is available on the Stop Hate website: http://www.stophateuk.org/report-lgb-and-t-hate-crime/
Posted on Monday 22nd June 2015