A series of community events have been taking place this week in support of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Northampton Community Safety Partnership has been leading the events with the aim of improving public awareness of what a hate crime is and how it can be reported.
The activities began on Monday 14 October at Weston Favell Shopping Centre between 10am and 4pm, with Northampton Borough Council, Northampton Partnership Homes and Northamptonshire Police on hand to offer advice and support on a wide-range of issues.
This was followed with the second Primary School Safety Conference of the year, at The Deco Theatre on Wednesday 16 October. During the conference, pupils from Hopping Hill Primary School, Woodvale Primary School, Thorplands Primary School and St Mary’s Primary School, learned more about what hate crime is, the different types of hate crime that can take place and where to turn to for help if they experience or witness an instance themselves.
On Thursday 17 October, advice and support was available at Ecton Travellers Site and the week of activities ends on Friday 18 October with the Borough Council, Northampton Partnership Homes and Northamptonshire Police holding another advice and information session on the Market Square.
Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said “A hate crime is any offence perceived as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
“Reasoning behind these incidents can range from gender, race, ethnicity or nationality, religion, faith or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity, disabilities or any characteristic that might make someone appear different.
“We want to see a reduction of such incidents taking place and so this Hate Crime Awareness Week we have been working with partners to reach out to residents in their communities to provide information and support.
Nicky MacKenzie, Assistant Director of Housing from Northampton Partnership Homes, said: “At NPH, we are giving our full support to National Hate Crime Awareness Week. We’ve focused our activities this week on taking our message directly to communities. We want to talk to as many residents as possible to raise awareness of Hate Crime and make sure that our residents know how to report incidents to us. We also want residents to know that there is support available and there is no place for hate in our neighbourhoods.”
Yemi Holman, Hate Crime Officer for Northamptonshire Police, said: “We have so far been out and about in schools, shopping centres and conferences across the county as part of this year’s Hate Crime Awareness Week, sharing the firm message that there’s no place in our communities for prejudice or hate.
“We would like to encourage an increase of reporting of hate crime incidents and reinforce to the public that hate crime is not something to be tolerated. We have been promoting the work of the Force in the communities it serves, and we hope anyone who has been a victim of hate crime has the confidence to come forward and report it.”
To report a hate crime online please visit www.northampton.gov.uk/info/