The ‘Being Different is not a Crime’ booklet encourages local people to come forward and report incidents and offers guidance on how to report using the new system. The booklet also provides a range of support links for those who have been targeted due to differences in race, religion, age, disability, gender and sexual orientation.
The new system was launched at an awareness raising event earlier this month as part of the celebr8 (don’t discrimin8) festival of diversity 2008, alongside a series of events to promote diversity across the North West, after the Council was awarded a North West Improvement & Efficiency Partnership (NWIEP) grant.
Catherine Mugonyi, Equalities Adviser at the Faith, Equality and Diversity Unit at Blackpool Council, comments: “Our awareness raising event brought together a diverse mix of people from all over Blackpool and was a great success in helping to promote respect and understanding within the community.
“We hope that the launch of the new system and supporting booklet will encourage people to do their part by reporting incidents of hate crime. We would like to thank NWIEP, 4NW – Regional Leaders Forum and celebr8 for their support.”
Steve Barwick, Director of Strategy – Scrutiny, Europe and Sustainability Directorate for 4NW – Regional Leaders Forum, added: “As an independent survey recently revealed, we are more tolerant as a region, more integrated and more positive than we might think, and more often than not, more so than the UK average. Whilst this is mostly positive news for the region, we mustn’t ignore that pockets of prejudice do still persist.
“Reducing hate crime is one of the three strategic goals of the region’s Equality and Diversity strategy, along with achieving economic participation for all and promoting diversity as a positive asset to the North West. We are very pleased to be able to support programmes from community groups and local authorities, such as Blackpool Council, by granting them event funding.”
More information about the reporting system, plus an information booklet and online form can be found online at www.blackpool.gov.uk/hatecrime
Further information on equality and diversity is freely available at www.equalityhumanrights.com and www.celebr8.org