Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has given her support to a new campaign which aims to raise awareness of
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) hate crime.
Led by the LGBT Consortium, the Recognise it. Report it campaign has been launched by a partnership of 31 organisations and has been funded by The Equality and Human Rights Commission. The local partnership organisation is the LGBT Fed.
The campaign aims to empower members of the LGBT community and stand up to hate crime through education and training as well as establishing local partnerships. It coincides with a new report published this week by the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies, which reveals 88 per cent of LGBT people had experienced some form of hate incident leaving them with emotional and physical scars.
Though Northumbria Police has a reputation for tackling hate crime and working closely with the LGBT community, evidence nationally suggests around 35,000 cases of hate crime committed against people because of their sexual orientation go unreported every year.
Commissioner Baird said: “I give my full backing to this campaign. Absolutely no one should be victimised because they have a different faith, gender, disability or sexuality.
“Northumbria Police is dedicated to tackling all kinds of hate crime and last year saw a fall in reported hate crime in relation to sexual orientation within the region. However, the national figures paint a worrying picture and far too many cases of hate crime go unreported. I understand there are reasons people don’t always report incidents to the police, but would urge anyone with any worries to come forward.
“Here in our region, officers offer help and advice to victims when they contact the police and they know they will be protected by the Criminal Justice System. My Police and Crime Plan has given a clear commitment in ensuring that Northumbria Police listen to all communities across Northumbria. I meet regularly with my LGBT Advisory Group, we share ideas and discuss how we can maintain and develop further the great relationship that the community has built with Northumbria Police.
“I hope the Recognise it. Report it campaign will help raise awareness of the increased support which is available and give victims the confidence to seek help.”
Targeting anyone because of a personal characteristic, whether it’s verbal or physical, is a hate crime and Northumbria Police wants people to report all incidents so they can be investigated. To report a hate crime call 101 or in an emergency 999. Anyone who has been a victim of crime can get advice and support from Victims First Northumbria by calling 0800 011 3116 or visiting the website – www.victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk