Agencies in York have come together in light of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, from 9th – 16th October, with The Inclusive Communities Joint Coordinating Group raising awareness in the hope of encouraging individuals to become active bystanders.
North Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable Lindsey Butterfield said that they aim to: “Send a clear message to those who think it’s ok to act abusively or inappropriately, that their behaviour is not acceptable, it won’t be tolerated.”
The awareness week and its events come at the same time as the calls for North York’s Police Commissioner Philip Allott to resign after his remarks surrounding the Sarah Everard investigation.
The Women’s Equality Party in York have been using their social media channels to raise awareness of hate crime, especially in regards to women’s safety. The party held a protest on Friday 8th October at York Station calling for the resignation of the police commissioner, which attracted attention from the BBC.
A spokeswomen for the group explained their stance: “We handed out nearly 100 leaflets asking people to lodge complaints with the panel by midday and we had an overwhelmingly positive response from the public. We feel Mr Allott’s position is untenable despite his apology, because his original comments reveal his lack of understanding about institutional sexism and misogyny, and the threats that women and girls face on a daily basis.
“Victim blaming has no place and damages the work being done by countless organisations to support women with reporting crimes and getting successful prosecutions.”
There will be various opportunities to spread awareness this week as well as WE York’s efforts. A free online bystander awareness session is being held on Thursday 14th October in partnership with the All About Respect team at York St John University.
‘Train the Trainer’ will be aimed at those who work with young adults in order to provide them with the training to allow young people to become active bystanders. They will be exploring how to distract, direct, delegate and delay in harmful or uncomfortable situations to become a part of the force to keep communities safe.
Previous feedback on such classes has been positive, described as: “really informative and provided me with non-confrontational ways I can help people.”
Other events include a session hosted by York Disability Rights Forum on Thursday 14th October, a hate crime awareness event in Northallerton Town Hall on Wednesday 13th October and several visits by Ryedale Local Policing Team to markets across the week sharing information on how to report hate crime.