Awareness drive to clamp down on hate crimes

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POLICE have launched a campaign across Wigan to raise awareness of hate crime and the misery it causes for those affected.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have begun a week-long drive to reduce hostility and prejudice towards those of different races, beliefs or sexuality.

Neighbourhood officers from across the borough are also taking to social media to inform Wiganers about the issue throughout the week, which runs until January 28.

Police officers in Wigan hope the awareness drive will reinforce Wigan’s reputation for tolerance and diversity and ensure victims of hate crime feel able to speak out and the justice system punishes offenders robustly.

GMP assistant chief constable, Garry Shewan, said: “Hate crime is something that can ruin the lives of many, it could be happening right under our noses. This awareness week is about showing people we are working together with our local partners to open people’s eyes to the problem and ask them to challenge it,

“Every individual has a right to feel safe and secure in their surroundings, free from hostility and harassment. If this isn’t the case than it needs to stop and we won’t tolerate it.”

Any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone because of hatred or prejudice towards disability, race or ethnicity, age, gender or transgender, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation or subculture is classed as a hate crime.

Police in Wigan will be working with the Crown Prosecution Service on the awareness week, which GMP hopes will become an annual event. Hate crimes should be reported by ringing police on 101 or visiting www.report-it.org.uk