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Rainbow flag raised at Police station
St Helens Community Safety Partnership (CSP) has been flying the flag in their bid to stamp out hate crime.
While hate crime (which includes offences motivated by homophobia and transphobia) remains low in St Helens, all CSP agencies take it extremely seriously knowing that it is still an under-reported crime.
The Rainbow flag has been hoisted above the police station in College Street to help raise awareness of the work being done on hate crime done to coincide with International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia. Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans individuals often use rainbow flags or rainbow images as a symbol of their identity or to show solidarity and support.
The CSP encourage hate crime victims to come forward and report the incident, whether to the Police directly (999 or 101) or via the independent, specialist, 24/7 national hotline 'Stop Hate UK' (0800 138 1625, or text 07717989025).
Dedicated support is on offer, whether through the Police's specialist Hate Crime Investigation Unit (the Sigma Team, based at College St) or other local organisations (Fire Service, Housing Associations, Social Care, etc) and community groups working to tackle homophobia and transphobia (Armistead, Merseyside In-Trust Network) Armistead: 0151-227-1931; In-Trust Network: 0151-928-2233.
Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Environmental Protection and Sfer Communities at St.Helens Council said: "We know that many people experience unfair treatment and unwanted behaviour from a small bigoted and ignorant minority in our community. No hate incident should be tolerated in a respectful society, this includes name calling and bullying of any kind. We can only take action against those who perpetrate homophobic and transphobic hate incidents if decent people are brave enough to report it to us. We have an excellent Hate Crime Team in Merseyside Police. If it is happening to you, or someone you know then I urge you to report it."
Sergeant Yoseph Al-Ramadhan (St Helens Sigma Unit, Merseyside Police) said:
"We want people to feel confident to report not just hate crimes but also any incident committed against a person or property that is motivated by the offender's hate against people because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender or because they have changed their gender from one sex to another."
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