West Lothian Community Safety Partnership launches its minority ethnic business crime reduction booklet.
A wide range of partners including the Institute of Asian Professionals (IAP), Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives,
West Lothian Council, Scotmid and Lothian and Borders Police have joined forces for the initiative.
It aims to reduce the amount of hate crimes suffered by the BME business community whilst also encouraging people to report these incidents on every occasion.
It is hoped it will help highlight the kind of problems businesses in West Lothian are facing, while also help agencies tackle issues and overall raise awareness of hate crime an reporting procedures across the Lothians.
Superintendent Jeanette McDiarmid, chair of the West Lothian Community Safety Partnership, said: “It is important that we work together to find solutions to any problems businesses in the area may be experiencing.
We live and work in a diverse community, and we have a responsibility to ensure all businesses and service providers can continue to operate and serve local people without fear of crime.
Any kind of hate crime will not be tolerated, and all reports are treated very seriously, and will be fully investigated by Lothian and Borders Police.
We would urge anyone who has been a victim of a hate crime to let us know about it as a matter of urgency, either to your local police or through our remote reporting scheme.
Audrey Middleton, Community and Membership Development Manager for Scotmid said: “Scotmid is delighted to be supporting the publication of the BME business crime reduction handbook.
Hate crime is a particularly vicious type of crime which can cause untold physical and emotional damage to the victims. As a retailer, Scotmid understands the pressures that shop staff can be put under in their daily working lives. We also have a responsibility toward the communities in which we operate.
It is for these reasons that we are sponsoring the handbook which we believe will be a vital tool in tackling and reducing hate crime towards BME groups. We wish the initiative every success.”
West Lothian Councillor, Martyn Day, Executive member for transport and development, said: “We are pleased to work within the West Lothian Community Safety Partnership to help create a working environment that is inclusive for everyone. This initiative sends a clear message that there is no place for hate crimes in West Lothian”.
Amjid Akram, CEO, Institute of Asian Professionals said: “On behalf of the Institute of Asian Professionals in Scotland, I would like to thank all those who have contributed in producing the business crime reduction booklet.
Encouraging diversity and preventing hate related crime is an important goal for any aspiring economy and every contribution is valued in creating a fair and just society. Asian and minority owned businesses are regularly subjected to racial and verbal abuse and this is on the rise.
However with the right type of actions and a zero tolerance approach, we are confident that in the long term we can eliminate such crime. We fully support this initiative.
Importantly, we must recognise the leadership of Lothian & Borders Police and partners in taking practical steps to encourage business owners to report hate crime.I believe that this handbook is a practical guide and will help small businesses to act and avoid being potential victims or suffering in silence.
Only through action from our shared knowledge and experiences, we can really help all to flourish in a safer and better Scotland.”
Linda Shanahan, Workplace Violence Prevention Manager with the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives said: “No one should be expected to suffer assault or verbal abuse at work and the Centre looks forward to working with the West Lothian Community Safety Partnership to support employers in protecting their staff from these types of incidents when they occur.
In this way violence can be reduced and real benefits for the health and wellbeing of those at work can be maintained”.
Anyone with any concerns should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131 or Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111 or speak to their local police station.