LOCAL celebrities and organisations have put pen to paper to show that St Helens is no place for hate.
St Helens Council, Merseyside Police, Helena Partnerships and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service were just some of the agencies that signed the Organisational Pledge to end Hate Crime during a ceremony at St Helens Town Hall.
They were joined by TV star Johnny Vegas and local war hero Andy Reid at the event, while Saints stars Josh Jones and Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook, unable to attend in person, sent their signed pledges through to campaign organisers.
The pledge is a public statement that an organisation wants to help tackle hate crime in St Helens. It sends a clear message to staff, members, service-users and customers that the organisation is working with other local agencies to tackle the crime.
St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing, Planning and Community Safety, Councillor Richard McCauley said: “The more organisations that pledge, the more noise is being made about hate crime. So it’s helping to raise awareness and break through the silence that surrounds the crime.
“It was fantastic to see so many people at the pledge signing – I was blown away by the attendance. But if we could get every company and organisation in the borough to sign up, it would send out the most powerful message possible that hate crime has no place in St Helens.”
Organisations pledging their support will receive an e-pack, explaining the aims of the campaign, and including posters, a copy of the logo and brand guidelines. They can then promote the campaign and the material in their own publications and on websites.
Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “One of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan is to take effective action against all forms of hate crime, which is any kind of crime that is motivated by hate or discrimination.
“Hate incidents are often greatly under-reported and I will work with all partners to ensure people feel able to come forward and report such a crime confident that they will be fully supported. “Events like this give people the confidence to speak out if they have been subjected to prejudice and make it clear such crimes will not be tolerated.”
A special pledge board will also be on display outside St Helens Town Hall this week – showing who has signed so far. They include:
Andy Reid and colleagues from Amputation, Inspiration, Motivation
Saints players - Josh Jones and Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook
Police Crime Commissioner - Jane Kennedy
The Mayor of St Helens
St Helens Councillors Richard McCauley, Paul Lynch and Seve Gomez-Aspron
Rob Carden, Merseyside Police Area Commander
Knowsley Ethnic Minority Support
Your Housing Group
Merseyside Probation Trust
Helena Partnerships Together
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service
St Helens Council
St Helens College
St Helens Housing Support
St Helens Chamber of Commerce
St Helens MIND.