DON'T be a bystander to hatred and prejudice – that’s the call to Greater Manchester people ahead of Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Every person across the city-region is urged to sign up to the Greater Manchester Promise never to stand by if they see someone being abused or attacked because of who they are.
The call to action is part of a week of events and activities to mark Greater Manchester Hate Crime Awareness Week.
People can sign up at letsendhatecrime.com/promise to the Promise, which reads:
Let’s End Hate Crime – the Greater Manchester Promise
I’m proud that Greater Manchester is a place where everyone is free to be themselves: where no one should face violence, abuse or hatred just because of who they are, who they love, where they’re from, what they look like or what they believe.
If I see someone abused like this I won't stand by. I'll take a stand and:
challenge their abuser, if it's safe; and
I make this promise to stand up for a Greater Manchester where we all look out for each other, we all stick up for each other, and we all stand together.
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Bev Hughes said: “The people of Greater Manchester have shown the world how we stand together in solidarity against those who would seek to divide us, and in support of those who face violence or abuse because of who they are.
“Our voice is stronger if we speak together, and if people sign the promise, it sends out a clear message that we stand together.”
Throughout the week there will be a dozens of activities and events across Greater Manchester to encourage people to learn more about hate crime and how to tackle it. A selection of some of the events taking place include art competitions, Flamenco dancers in Hulme, a living library, poetry performances, art displays and discussions with speakers. The events are being covered by local radio across Greater Manchester.
The awareness week will be launched at Manchester College, Openshaw Campus today (Monday, February 5) with poetry and performances from students. Some of the speakers will include representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service, the Deaf Centre, Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council's Cllr Nigel Murphy.
Hate crimes are acts of hostility, such as violence or verbal abuse, directed at someone because of who they are. It’s things like someone being spat at because they are black, or being called names because they are a Muslim and wear a headscarf, or being beaten up for being gay.
Reporting hate crime is easy – you can do it online at http://www.report-it.org.uk/home, call the police on 101 or, if you don’t want to speak to police, report it at one of dozens of independent reporting centres across Greater Manchester.
Chief Superintendent Wasim Chaudhry, Greater Manchester Police’s lead for hate crime, said: “After the challenges we faced last year, this year’s Greater Manchester Hate Crime Awareness Week theme seems most fitting. Everyone has the right to feel safe and we all have a responsibility to take a stand against hatred and discrimination - we want everyone to stand up against hate crime. If you see it happen, report it. If it is safe to do so, challenge the perpetrator. We need people to know that we will not accept this sort of behaviour.
“We did see a spike in the amount of hate crimes and incidents across Greater Manchester at certain times last year. After major tragedies here in Manchester, with our friends in London and indeed across the world, it’s sadly not unusual to see an increase, but that did fall again quickly.
“Just like during last year’s spike, we remain committed to tackling hate and discrimination, encouraging people to come forward if they have been a victim as I acknowledge that under-reporting of hate crime still occurs.”
Find out more here.