Next week is Hate Crime Awareness Week. During the week Gateshead Council and its partners are reminding the community that there is no place for hate in Gateshead.
National Hate Crime Awareness week takes place from Saturday 10 October to Saturday 17 October and is a national week of action to raise awareness of hate crime.
Hate crimes are crimes committed against an individual or group of people based on their identity or their perceived difference. It could be an act of violence, hostility or discrimination. Victims may have been bullied, harassed or abused because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity. The crime may be verbal abuse, offensive graffiti, threats, damage to property, assault, cyber bullying, abusive texts, emails or phone calls.
Between April and July 2020, there were 157 hate incidents reported in Gateshead to either Northumbria Police or through the Council’s online reporting system. The number of incidents reported is an increase of 9% compared to the same period in 2019/20 (an increase of 13 cases) and took place when the country was in lockdown and when recorded crime fell by 9%.
Councillor Angela Douglas, Chair of the Gateshead Community Safety Board, said: “We’re very proud of our diverse community here in Gateshead so it is worrying to see that the number of people reporting hate crime is on the rise. Hate crime has a destructive effect, not just on victims but on whole communities.
“But we’re confident that by working together (with Northumbria Police, The Gateshead Housing Company and Victims First Northumbria and other partners) we can make a real difference and show that hate crime will not be tolerated.
“For victims, the key message has to be, please don’t suffer in silence. If you see it or hear it then report it – there are people who can help.”
Throughout the week, virtual hate crime awareness training and engagement sessions will be taking place with young people, schools and partners such as the QE Hospital, North East Ambulance Service & Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust staff network groups.
Gateshead Council’s social media accounts will also feature short videos which include quotes from victims of hate crime showing the impact of hate crime and how to report and access support.
The council will also be asking its staff to wear red in support of Show Racism the Red Card’s Wear Red Day which takes place on Friday 16 October. Wear Red Day is a national day of action which encourages schools, businesses & individuals to wear red and donate £1 to the charity which delivers anti-racism education for young people and adults. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge will also be lit red on Friday 16 October in support of the day.
If you have seen or been a victim of a hate crime in Gateshead please call the 24-hour helpline on 0191 433 2648 or report online. With just one phone call you can get help from a range of organisations, including Victims First Northumbria and the police. Reports can remain anonymous and you don’t have to give your name and personal details.
Report hate crime