By Joshua Robinson –
Hate Crime Awareness Week was closed out on Friday 20th October with a partnership show of support at Leeds Bus Station.
The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, West Yorkshire Police, Leeds Council, and the Crown Prosecution Service joined forces to host a stall in the station where anyone could come to speak about hate crime with the option to make reports in a private space.
A number of individuals, from bus drivers to young people disclosed their experiences with advice and support being offered.
Alison Lowe OBE, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “Hate Crime Awareness Week may have finished for this year but our message is clear, there is no place for hate in West Yorkshire at any time.”
“It was fantastic to be joined by so many organisations in taking a stand and encouraging anyone affected by these issues to get help.”
“We know it’s a difficult time for many so it’s even more important that hate crime is tackled. If you’ve been a victim please report it, to the police, or to any of the numerous third party reporting centres across West Yorkshire. Please know, support is there.”
Sergeant Richard Cotton of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Hate crime can have a devastating impact on the victim but also on the wider community. We take reports of hate crime extremely seriously and are committed to engaging with communities to address hate crimes and hate incidents.”
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“Any opportunity to raise awareness of hate crime is of course welcome and we were pleased to attend this event at Leeds Bus Station with the Deputy Mayor of West Yorkshire to speak with residents and listen to their concerns.
“If you have experienced hate crime or an incident then please report it in any way you feel comfortable. By the police being made aware of an incident, we can deal with it and potentially prevent the same thing happening to someone else.”
A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “Tackling hate crime is a priority for the CPS and we are determined to bring perpetrators to justice. We are committed to working with communities affected by hate crime to listen to concerns, to raise awareness and to help build confidence to report.”
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for resources with responsibility for Safer Leeds, said: “We’re proud to have supported this important initiative as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, to take a stand against hate crime and ensure that victims are supported.”
“It is great to be working with partners across the region to send a strong message that hate crime is not tolerated in West Yorkshire.”
A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on the victim’s disability, race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
To find out more and report online, please visit: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/advice/abuse-anti-social-behaviour/hate-crime/hate-crime