Ten GMC councils are providing funding towards community-run events throughout Hate Crime Awareness Week.
A large advertisement campaign across the city this week using billboards, newspapers, social media and radio as a way of helping to “raise awareness of hate crime in Manchester, encourage reporting, promote community cohesion and celebrate diversity”.
Home Office figures on hate crime in England and Wales show a year on year increase in reported incidents since 2011/12. The 2015/16 “statistical bulletin” report suggests that this may be partly due to “the improvement of recording offences by the police”. However, there was a sharp increase between June and July 2016, immediately following the referendum.
Speaking at the launch of last week’s events at Cheetwood Primary School, Labour Councillor Nigel Murphy (executive member for neighbourhood services), said “Emotions were really high last year when we had the referendum, and people for some reason thought it was sensible to voice their racism on the streets. Actually what’s been really significant in Manchester, is that people have stood up against it…[and said] ‘no that’s not acceptable…’, so as well as encouraging people to report it we encourage people to stand together against it.”
Jim Battle, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner added that “it’s about being friends with people, it’s about including people, it’s about being involved and being together..” He highlighted the benefit of having events in schools and praised the pupils for their awareness of the issues around hate crime.
The University of Manchester’s Students’ Union’s Diversity Officer Ilyas Nagdee told The Mancunion about the work the Union does in collaboration with the university. He said they “stand against all forms of discrimination” and run events throughout the year such as the We Get It campaign which deals with sexual harassment and discrimination and last November’s Islamophobia Awareness Month. They, along with the university, also provide spaces where students can raise issues anonymously and discuss topics in a safe environment such as the Student Union’s independent Advice Service. There are over 40 different events taking place this week across the city, the details of which can be found at makingmanchestersafer.com, and the week will finish on Sunday 12th February, 12pm on Market Street with the Lord Mayor speaking at the event.
More information about tackling hate crime including advice and support for victims can also be found at letsendhatecrime.com
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