Partners across Bolton are coming together to take a stand against hate crime as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week between February 6 and 12, to raise awareness, challenge perceptions and promote tolerance and respect.

This is the fifth annual Hate Crime Awareness Week, supported by police, local authorities, other partner and voluntary agencies, and communities. This year, Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has allocated £10,000 to each local authority to support hate crime work in the community.

Events will take place across Bolton and Greater Manchester to raise awareness of hate crime, encourage reporting and bring communities together to challenge it. There will also be a hard-hitting radio campaign to challenge perceptions of what hate crime is and urge people to speak out.

Breightmet UCAN centre will be marking Hate Crime Awareness Week by becoming a Third Party Reporting Centre. Victims or witnesses of hate crime can report abuse at a third party centre without having to visit a police station. Staff have been trained to handle reports of these crimes and will provide a safe and secure place for people to discuss their concerns.

Bolton Citizens’ Advice Bureau on Mawdsley Street is already a third party reporting centre, but has also now trained all its staff in a specialist e-learning course on hate crime awareness, so they are better able to recognise hate crime and encourage others to report it. The e-learning resource is at http://www.boltoncommunitysafetytraining.org.uk

Community group The Fur Community, will be working with the Darfur community from Sudan to host an open day on Sunday 12 February at 97 – 99 Derby Street from 11am to 3pm. The day will look at hate crime and how to report it, including displays, stalls and guest speakers from GMP and Bolton Council.

Bolton University and GMP will also hold a ‘Respect’ event on February 9th to raise awareness of hate crime and the importance of respecting one another. Voluntary groups and partners will host information stalls promoting respect and raising awareness of hate crime.

Disability theatre group Dramatic Action will be working in partnership with Bolton At Home, Octagon Theatre and Drummond Street Community Centre to do create writing workshops on individual experiences of Hate Crime and will collate this work into a display to be put on show at the Octagon Theatre.

Meanwhile community group Friends of Bolton CAMHS will be working with Devise It Education Services Ltd to raise awareness of hate crime amongst young people with mental health problems. Young people will write, produce and perform a short play to raise awareness of the impact of hate crime for young people with mental health issues.

Bolton FM will also be broadcasting interviews with hate crime awareness projects around the town, while the Proud Trust will host a display in Central Library to raise awareness of hate crime in the LGBT community. Throughout the week, GMP will be visiting community groups, schools and retail parks to raise awareness of hate crime.

Councillor Derek Burrows, Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: “Hate crime is completely unacceptable and we are working with our partners to reduce it. We hope that the events and awareness raising activities we are organising as part of this week will raise awareness of hate crime and encourage people to take a stand against it.”

Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “Hate crime destroys lives and divides communities. It has no place in Greater Manchester – a proud, diverse region that welcomes people who stand for hope, not for hate, no matter who they are, where they’re from, who they love or what they believe.

“This week is a powerful show of what can be achieved when we all stand together against hatred and prejudice, bringing communities together to celebrate our diversity and encourage tolerance and respect.”

GMP Chief Superintendent Wasim Chaudhry, said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe and we all have a responsibility to stand against hatred and discrimination.

“Over the last year, 5,250 hate crimes or incidents were reported to GMP, 227 of those were carried out on public transport of one form or another across Greater Manchester. This year we are launching a transport campaign alongside various local authorities and partnerships to make sure people feel safe on public transport across Greater Manchester.

“GMP works hard to raise the awareness of these types of offences all year round – not just in Hate Crime Awareness Week – and we recognise there is more work to be done.”
To report hate crime and find out what’s happening in your area to tackle it, visit www.letsendhatecrime.com. You can also report it by calling police on 101.

Get involved in the conversation on social media by following #westandtogether

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