Professionals to be trained to spot signs of hate crime

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More than 110 community safety professionals have received training on how to spot the warning signs of hate crime at a major seminar hosted by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Jane Kennedy joined forces with national charity Stop Hate UK, who she has commissioned to provide an independent reporting service for all victims of hate crime on Merseyside. The training session was offered to dozens of ‘first responders’ from Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, the North West Ambulance Service and nearly 30 other community safety organisations.

The Hate Crime Awareness seminar, held at Merseyside Police Headquarters in Canning Place yesterday, aimed to increase understanding of the issue, demonstrate the services offered by Stop Hate UK and consider the impact of hate crime on those affected.

Attendees also learnt about the reporting options available to victims of hate crime and the potential barriers or difficulties they may face in talking about their experiences. The event also detailed the existing support structures for victims of hate crime on Merseyside and the way the organisations work together to provide advice, care and support.

The event was opened by the Commissioner, who said: “Hate crime is never acceptable. Yet sadly we know too many people do put up with it and even accept it as part of their everyday lives.

“We need to change this and make sure those who are affected by hate know they can come forward and they will get help. Today’s seminar was an opportunity to ensure professionals are trained to identify those in need and understand the best possible ways to help.

“I am delighted that representatives from so many other organisations were able to attend today’s seminar and I hope they will take what they’ve learnt back to their own organisations to increase understanding of the issue of hate crime and help to ensure more victims feel confident enough to speak out.”

It is the sixth time the Commissioner has provided a training event at Merseyside Police Headquarters, with previous seminars being held to raise awareness and understanding of issues surrounding mental ill health, learning disabilities, the condition ADHD, personality disorders, schizophrenia and self-harm and suicide.

Local councillors, youth offending staff and professionals from the region’s Community Safety Partnerships, social services, and healthcare providers were all among the attendees.

Stop Hate UK offers a free, confident and accessible 24/7 reporting service for all victims of hate crime, including web-chat and multi-lingual reporting in 45 languages. Stop Hate UK can be reached on 0800 138 1625 or www.stophateuk.org

There are also more than 90 independent centres across Merseyside where victims can get help to contact Stop Hate UK. These include fire stations, Citizens’ Advice Bureaus, museums and libraries. Venues can be identified by a red hand logo (attached).