St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is taking a stand against Hate Crime by joining forces with Merseyside Police to launch a unique Hate Crime Reporting Scheme for the local community.
Launched as part of Merseyside Hate Crime Awareness Week and following an increase in the reporting of hate crimes in the local area, the Trust’s new online reporting system will help victims report any incidents or concerns in complete confidence.
In the St Helens area alone, there has been a 17% increase in reports of hate crime since 2015.
A hate crime is classed as a crime that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
Ann Marr, Chief Executive said: “As a Trust, we feel that is incredibly important for us to support our local community in all aspects of living, not just health. If someone is a victim of hate crime, it can greatly affect their emotional wellbeing, and it is vital that as a focal point for the local community, we offer a safe environment for patients and staff. I am proud that we are the first NHS organisation to provide this new way of reporting hate crime, hopefully it will go a long way to helping protect people’s quality of life.”
The Trust has worked in close partnership with Merseyside Police for a number of years, with police officers holding awareness clinics at both St Helens and Whiston hospitals to raise awareness of hate crime with the local community. The new online scheme extends this partnership and enables anyone from across the local communities, to easily contact Merseyside Police’s hate crime coordinator direct.
Rob Carden, Assistant Chief Constable Merseyside Police, said: “The partnership between St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Merseyside Police is an innovative way to look after people and invite them to come forward if they experience hate crime. I commend the Trust for reaching out to those affected, all avenues to report crimes are welcome to ensure victims are heard and receive support.”
John Williams, Detective Chief Inspector, Head of Protecting Vulnerable Persons Unit, Merseyside Police, said: “We should encourage people to be individuals, unite and come together to fight the minority who feel the need to discriminate. This scheme is really important, for the NHS Trust and Police to work together sends out a strong message that hate crime is not accepted in our local community.”
You can report a hate crime incident, or receive confidential advice, by visiting the Trust’s website www.sthk.nhs.uk/report-hate-crime and completing a simple online form. This will then be sent directly to the local Hate Crime Coordinator who will deal with the report in a confidential and sensitive manner.