Last week, a number of events took place across Stockport to raise awareness of Hate Crime.
One of the events was organised by us, in conjunction with Stockport Council, Greater Manchester Police, Stockport NHS CCG, and event hosts Stockport College.
This took place on Tuesday 5th February at the College, and allowed learners to come together with stallholders from local organisations, to raise awareness of Hate Crime and celebrate equality and diversity.
What is Hate Crime?
You may be reading this and wondering what Hate Crime is. This page of the Greater Manchester Police website states that:
In England and Wales, hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted because of hostility or prejudice in relation to:
- race or ethnicity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
- transgender identity
- alternative sub-culture hate crime
This can be committed against a person or property. Please call 999 if you feel life is in danger or 101 at any other time. victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime.
If a person is convicted of a criminal offence, and hostility in relation to any of the above five categories is proven, then any sentence they receive will be increased to take in to account that it is a hate crime.
At Stockport Mind we support people with mental ill health, which can be classed as a disability – one of the protected characteristics listed above – and we know that some people we have supported have been victims of Hate Crime but not reported it, specific to mental health and otherwise.
Because of this we feel passionately that we have a duty to help raise awareness of what Hate Crime is. The Hate Crime that those we support have been subject to has included targeted comments, verbal abuse and vandalism.
There are various reasons that people do not report Hate Crime – as well as fear, people not knowing what Hate Crime is or that they are a victim/witness of this can be another key reason, which gives all the more reason for local organisations to come together to raise awareness.
Hate Crime is part of government strategy. We wish to work alongside this but to go beyond simply having policies and procedures on equality and diversity, by taking a real stand against Hate Crime by being involved in events like this.
We are one of Stockport’s third party Hate Crime Reporting Centres – you can see the full list of organisations that are on the ‘Hate crime reporting centres’ tab under the ‘Useful information’ heading on this page – so at the event we encouraged other organisations to consider becoming a reporting centre too, if they aren’t one already. What this means is that people can report Hate Crime in a confidential safe space with a local organisation, as an alternative to going direct to the police.
A successful event
At the event, hundreds of College students attended, visiting the brilliant array of stalls, and listening to speakers from Disability Stockport, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, The Women’s Equality Party and ourselves.
A whole host of other organisations were present, coming together to help make people aware they don’t need to suffer in silence if they feel something that has happened to them or other people could be a Hate Crime.
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At short notice, Stockport College student Erin created some amazing artwork in keeping with the theme of the day, based on a quote by Gandhi.
Other Hate Crime events took place across the week, including one organised by Disability Stockport, and we went on to raise further awareness as part of our Time To Talk Day presence at Sky Stockport.
We would like to say a big thanks to everyone who attended or helped to make this event a success in any way.