Hartlepool hosts event to help tackle hate crime
A host of community partners and agencies joined forces to help stamp out hate crime as Hartlepool hosted a conference on the issue.
Local LGBT support service Hart Gables organised the event at Cleveland Fire Brigade’s headquarters to coincide with National Hate Crime Awareness Week which runs until October 19.
It was well supported by organisations including Hartlepool Borough Council, probation service, disability groups and local mosques.
The day heard from guest speakers and featured interactive workshops to help spread a zero tolerance message on the issue and share information about available support and where to report hate crime.
Last year, there were 576 race hate crimes reported to the police across the Tees Valley and 140 reports around gender and/or sexuality.
Kay Attle, from Hart Gables who organised the Hartlepool event, said: “Unfortunately, there are still people within our communities that think it is okay to use hostile language or even violence towards a person because of who they are, or who someone thinks they are.
“Hate crime is an issue for everyone to consider – we don’t feel Hartlepool has huge problems, however is important that we use National Hate Crime Awareness Week (HCAW) to look at our communities and consider whether we are doing enough to protect the most vulnerable amongst us.
“Events like today are important in raising awareness around the issues and complexities of hate crime, it is important that professionals and the public take a no tolerance approach to hate crime.”
Kay was pleased at the number of agencies who supported and attended the event adding: “I think it is surprising, how many people will support an initiative like ours today.
“Cleveland Fire Brigade have been great in providing us with a great location to hold this event.”
There are a number of places across Hartlepool where hate crime victims can report incidents including the Citizens Advice bureau on Park Road.
“If people don’t feel confident enough to speak to the police, they can simply walk into one of the third party reporting centres and report the crime,” said Kay.
For more details visit Hartlepool Borough Council’s website or click here.