Victims of hate crime are being helped through an innovative network of support, launched across County Durham and Darlington.
Under the slogan ‘Report it to Sort it’ a range of agencies have come together to give victims the channels to report the crime and get the support they need.
Schemes provide a range of safe havens across the area for hate crime victims to get support; and Community Hands, a dedicated volunteer helpline number for potential victims, are just some of the innovative tactics being used to tackle the issue.
A week in January 2015 has been dedicated to raising public awareness about hate crime.
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Partner organisations, along with PCC The PCC, have provided a range of information, which can be found on the links below:
PCC activity towards reducing the impact of hate crime
Hate Crime Seminars
This was the PCC's second seminar to address hate crime, held on Tuesday 3 June 2014. This was very well attended, with over 110 people involved on the day. The focus was on the progress made to reduce the impact of hate crime since the first seminar in 2013. Please click on the following links for further information about this seminar:
Paralympian Stephen Millar was the keynote speaker at the hate crime seminar who gave an inspirational talk about his own challenges. For further information, including videos, about Stephen Miller, please visit:
The first hate crime seminar was held on 17 April 2013. The purpose of hosting this seminar was to identify gaps in service delivery and create a mechanism where organisations can work better together in the future. The ultimate goal is to improve outcomes for the public and to increase confidence for individuals to report these appalling crimes, instead of suffering in silence.
Approximately 80 representatives from a broad range of organisations including, public and voluntary sectors, victim services and community groups contributed by giving individual feedback and action points about how they would like Hate Crime services to be improved. The 6 areas covered included Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race Belief and Faith, Disability, Gypsy Roma Travellers and Learning Disability.
PCC The PCC announced at the seminar that Durham Constabulary were to be the next police force to begin recording offences motivated by hatred for members of alternative cultures, such as goths, emos and punks. Correctly recording such incidents as hate crime was an an important step going forward for County Durham and Darlington.
Volunteers from across the organisations were asked to work together over the coming year in small groups to take the actions forward (progress announced at the 2014 seminar), to ensure that partners continue to work together to achieve the same goals and to improve confidence for the public.
Work with Independent Advisory Groups
Durham Constabulary have a series of Independent Advisory Groups (IAGs), which represent the diverse sectors of our communities including:
- Black Minority Ethnic (BME) IAG
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) IAG
- Disability IAG
The groups are made up of individuals from these diverse sectors who volunteer their time and knowledge to look into various issues and opportunities for people within these communities across the force area.
These individuals provide a lot of valuable work and effort for the benefit of our communities by raising awareness of the diverse sectors and for being active volunteers in tackling related issues on behalf of the public.
For further information about the IAGs, please click here to go to the Durham Constabulary website.
Hate Crime Event – East Durham College
In March 2014 the PCC fully supported the work the IAGs (mentioned above) along with Durham Constabulary, as they joined forces with East Durham College to help raise awareness of hate crimes amongst local young people and to help reinforce positive messages to students and staff at the College by looking to promote local positive images, increase public satisfaction and increase the reporting of hate incidents.
The two events were held across the College’s Peterlee and Houghall Campus’ were a big hit with over 1000 students participating . The events consisted of a number of different interactive sessions including talks from IAG members as guest speakers, on racial hate crime, LGBT hate crime, and disability hate crime. The events were so successful that the college have committed to running them every two years to ensure that all students get the opportunity to participate. Throughout 2014 it is planned to roll out similar events across other higher education establishments.
Victims of Hate Crime urged to speak out
In October 2013 PCC The PCC urged victims of hate crime to speak out following the press reports regarding a rise in the number of hate crimes. It was reassuring to hear that victims are becoming more confident in reporting hate crime. The PCC urged all victims not to be afraid to come forward, assuring them that all reports will be dealt with very seriously.
His ultimate goal is to reduce the incidence of hate crime and to increase confidence for individuals to report these appalling crimes, instead of suffering in silence.
Support for Show Racism the Red Card
In addition to the funding provided in December 2014 for education in schools to Show Racism the Red Card (click here to view the press release), back in November 2013 PCC The PCC took part in a Show Racism the Red Card event on Tuesday at St James’ Park to help teach young people the dangers of racism.
Pupils from Catchgate Primary in Stanley, Co Durham and Canning Street Primary in Newcastle also attended to take part in a range of anti-racism workshops as well as watching a screening of a Show Racism the Red Card film.
This was a fantastic event and The PCC congratulated all of the young people who attended the workshops. They participated well and they were able to gain a better understanding of the effects of racism, which will help young people prepare to play an active role as good citizens in a growing multi-racial and multi-cultural society.
The PCC also hosted an event for Show Racism the Red Card on Friday 25 April at County Hall in Durham. Young people from Kelloe Primary School attended and asked interesting questions to former-Sunderland defender Gary Bennett and former Newcastle United players Olivier Bernard and Richard Offiong.
Community Hands Project
Members of the Disability Independent Advisory Group have been busy set up a volunteer advocate Scheme to help those who have or are having problems with hate crime.
Hate Crime Resource Pack
The PCC provided funding to Durham Agency Against Crime for a Hate Crime Resource Pack which will launching January 2015. This will include a DVD and lesson plans, to be used by various partners to deliver educational workshops to young people across County Durham and Darlington.
For further information about the Hate Crime Resource Pack, please contact Bryan Russell at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 0191 3008460.