A campaign to tackle hate crime is being rolled out across Mid and East Antrim.
‘No Hate Here’ is a joint initiative by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, PCSP, PSNI and Inter Ethnic Forum.
The idea is to encourage local businesses and organisations to support those who have been victims of a hate crime, signpost them to support services and encourage reporting.
A resource pack has been developed for local businesses and organisations, which explains what hate crime is, how people can report hate crime and where they can get support. It also includes posters for them to display.
The programme was launched last year in Ballymena and is now being rolled out across Larne and Carrickfergus.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr. Lindsay Millar said: “This initiative focuses on all types of hate crime including religious, sectarian, homophobic and racial hate crime. No form of crime is acceptable in today’s society and it is totally unacceptable.
“Mid and East Antrim prides itself on being a place that is welcoming, vibrant and diverse. There is a collective responsibility on statutory agencies, elected representatives, and community leaders to enable the community plan, Putting People First, to take shape and help everyone work together to ensure everyone who lives, works and visits here is treated with dignity and respect.
“We value the contribution of each of our diverse communities. The ethnic minority community make a significant impact to our economic, civic and cultural life in Mid and East Antrim and we want them to know they are welcome here.”
PSNI Chief Inspector Michael Simpson said: “We recognise the impact hate crime has on victims and communities and welcome the roll out of this initiative across Mid and East Antrim. For various reasons people may feel they can’t come directly to police with their concerns, so knowing that there are local businesses and organisations out there that can provide that initial support and signposting is a great resource.”
Ivy Goddard, from the Mid and East Antrim Inter Ethnic Forum, said: “It is great to see businesses in our borough working collaboratively with agencies to take action against Hate Crime. Being victimised because of who you are, or who people think you are is fundamentally wrong. We are committed to preventing hate crime escalation through this campaign, as well as other preventative initiatives that we are involved in.”
The PSNI will provide training to a number of local businesses and organisations that sign up.
For more information on how to get involved, go to www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/goodrelations
This project was supported by The Executive Office through Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Good Relations Programme as part of the Together Building a United Community Strategy.