A new project aimed at helping vulnerable people at risk of hate crime enjoy Nottingham’s nightlife has got underway in support of a national campaign.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping awarded Smile! Stop Hate Crime with grant funding for its work helping people with learning disabilities access the city’s entertainment venues safely.
Volunteers from the project are busy visiting leisure outlets including The National Ice Stadium and Motorpoint Arena to train staff on identifying the signs of hate crime, increasing their knowledge of learning disabilities and autism and boosting their understanding of how to report incidents.
It comes as the UK celebrates National Hate Crime Awareness Week (NHCAW) – an annual campaign organised by campaign charity Stop Hate UK, which runs from October 14 – 21 and encourages local authorities, key partners and community stakeholders to hold activities to promote hate crime awareness.
The event is aimed at highlighting all forms of hate crime including disability, faith, gender, face and sexual orientation.
Tyrone Nash was one of the people working at the Ice Stadium event. He said: "I like to go out with my friends, it's lonely staying in the flat all the time, but I need someone to look out for me.
“It is the whole community's responsibility to ensure people with learning disabilities are protected and that hate crime and exploitation is reported to the police, it is only then they can do something to stop it."
Mr Tipping said: “I’m proud to be supporting National Hate Crime Awareness Week once again and the work of Smile! Stop Hate Crime to increase the safety of our most vulnerable residents.
“It’s important we promote Nottinghamshire as a compassionate, inclusive city and take care to ensure those people who work with or serve the general public are willing to help us maintain a caring, safe and supportive environment.
“Socialising can be a daunting experience for individuals with a learning difficulty but we can reduce the potential for alienation or fear by remaining alert to the risks of hate crime and other offences and by playing our part to offer reassurance.”
In the most recent training visits, Smile! Stop Hate Crime staff and volunteers shared practical skills with leisure staff on how to communicate effectively with customers who have a learning disability and highlighted how they should report hate crime incidents to the police.
The staff reacted positively to the session and showed a strong commitment to supporting people with disabilities to enjoy the sports, shows and events held at both The National Ice Stadium and Motorpoint Arena.
The PCC is committed to improving the safety of vulnerable people across Nottinghamshire and reducing their risk of becoming victims of crime.
He continues to fund a number of support schemes to help increase the safety of vulnerable members of the community and recently joined MPs and PCCs from across the country in writing a letter in support of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
The letter is available here: https://172430notohatecrime.wordpress.com/
Anyone who would like to hold a short training session in their organisation or who would like to find out more is invited to contact Karen Aspley on 0115 9209524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture Shows (L-R): Tyrone Nash, Volunteer Nottingham Mencap, staff at the National Ice Stadium and Luke Roper, Assistant Operations Manager at the National Ice Stadium with the famous Torvill & Dean Bolero costumes
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Friday 13th October 2017