Victims of hate crime are being urged not to suffer in silence. A new scheme in South Tyneside aims to give people a voice
Show Racism the Red Card helps launch Arch in South Tyneside
Article from The Gazette
Victims of hate crime are being urged not to suffer in silence. A new scheme in South Tyneside aims to give a voice to people targeted because of their sexuality, disability, race or ways they choose to live their lives. Arch was launched yesterday at South Shields Town Hall with police warning that hate crime is a “hugely under-reported” issue. In the past 12 months in South Tyneside, 55 hate crimes were recorded by police, of which 85.7 per cent were solved.
But Chief Inspector Brian Walker, of South Tyneside Area Command, said:
“We know there are a huge number of hate crimes that are not reported. It is a serious crime and one that has the potential to escalate from threats and harassment to violence. We need people to know that South Tyneside police have a robust mechanism in place to investigate all hate crimes reported to us.”
Victims can be targeted in a number of ways – from name calling to damage to their property or physical abuse.
The aims of Arch South Tyneside are to increase the number of hate incidents reported, offer support to victims and improve the action taken against offenders.
There are now a range of places that victims can seek help. These include the police, South Tyneside Council’s anti-social behaviour unit, community wardens, Age UK, South Tyneside College, South Tyneside Homes, Victim Support, Your Voice Counts, STAG (South Tyneside and Gateshead Bisexual Men’s Project), ISOS Housing Limited and MESMAC (working with gay men in the North East).
Councillor Tracey Dixon, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for leisure and community safety, said: “Hate crime has always been one of our priorities. We will always take robust action against those responsible and give victims the support needed.”
Show Racism the Red Card’s Education Manager in the North East, Craig Bankhead, said:
“Our campaign works alongside Arch in other local authorities in Tyne and Wear and welcomes the opportunity to replicate this in South Tyneside. We’ve delivered anti-racism education to thousands of young people in the area and the implementation of Arch will help us to measure the impact of our work and allow us to target our resource more effectively.”