Hate crime, in all its forms, is unacceptable and can be deeply distressing for victims. Sadly, it often goes unreported but I am working to ensure victims get the support they need.
My office is engaged in the Strategic Hate Crime group, which meets regularly to discuss tackling the issue of hate crime and supporting hate crime victims. I also speak to victims and campaigners to better understand the issues around hate crime.
I provided funding through my Community Action Fund to support the Lancashire Council of Mosques in setting up a third party reporting service for Muslims who have been victims of hate crime.
Victims can also access specialist support through Lancashire Victim Services, which I set up to provide support – even if the crime hasn’t been reported to police. LVS gives victims access to counselling, advocacy and mediation, as well as helping them to report the incident when they feel ready.
I have sponsored Blackpool Pride through Lancashire Victim Services and will do so again in 2017 to ensure that hate crime victims from the LGBT community know about the specialist support available to them.
Through my Say No To Hate campaign I have been raising awareness of the issue of hate crime and I’m asking people not to turn a blind eye or condone hate crime in any way. Thousands of Lancashire residents have already signed my pledge not to take part in, encourage, condone or ignore hate or hate crimes in our communities.