Mayor and Chief Constable unite to tackle hate crime
The Mayor of Liverpool and the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police have come together at the start of Hate Crime Awareness Week to put tackling hate crime at the top of their agenda.
Joanne Anderson was elected leader of Liverpool City Council a short time after Serena Kennedy took on the top policing job – the first time both organisations have had female leaders – and now they are pledging to make tackling hate crime a priority.
Hate crime is hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation or someone who is transgender.
Earlier this year there were a number of attacks on the LGBTQ+ community in the city centre.
Subsequent to the incidents, Liverpool hosted a public art project which saw a series of emotive slogans that had been emblazoned on placards at the protest replicated on digital billboards across the city as part of a social media campaign across Pride weekend.
Work is also under way on a number of art projects in key areas which resonate with the LGBTQ+ community, as well as training with the hospitality, leisure and transport sector on preventing hate crime and ensuring the city is a safe place for everyone.
To support the week of action itself, there are various activities taking place, including:
A series of joint partnership Hate Crime Awareness Webinars delivered by the Anthony Walker Foundation
A joint leaflet drop in key hot spot areas to help raise awareness of hate crime organised by Merseyside Police and local housing providers
Numerous educational hate crime awareness sessions taking place in various locations such as Tuebrook primary schools and Walton Youth Project
A tea and coffee drop in afternoon at the Walton Road Community Café
A drop in session with Afghan refugees to build positive relationships and encourage reporting
Mayor Joanne Anderson said: “I want us to do much more around making the city a safer place for people of every walk of life.
“Encouraging people to report hate crime and not be afraid to come forward. It is only by demonstrating the scale of the issue that the police are able to direct resources at tackling it.
“I have been really impressed with the response from all partners to the recent homophobic and transphobic attacks and this is something I want us to build on.”
Merseyside Police Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, said: “What I have been so proud of is the way our community, our partners and policing rallied so quickly to the homophobic and transphobic attacks and took the definite stance that this is not acceptable on the streets of Liverpool.
“So for me the next steps are around what is it we need to do around educating people about healthy relationships and the way we treat each other. And then practical things like the night time economy and where are the hotspots that policing needs to be.
“Reports of hate crime have risen during the pandemic and I would always encourage people to come forward if they have been a victim of hate crime.”
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, said: “National Hate Crime Awareness Week is an important date in the calendar for me. It gives us all the opportunity to celebrate and promote the rich diversity of our communities, while coming together to reaffirm and renew our commitment to challenging and tackling all acts of hatred and prejudice.
“At a time when our country sadly still feels quite divided and, in the wake of a recent increase in incidents of hate crime, it is more important than ever that we remain vigilant to combat discrimination, abuse and prejudice.
“Let me make it clear, crimes motivated by hate have no place in our society.
“I’m pleased to be working with partners and communities across the region to send out the message – loud and clear – that our region is diverse, it is inclusive and it is welcoming. Those who look to spread and breed hatred are have no place here.”