A range of events was held across communities in Leeds as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2017.
At each event, residents were given the opportunity to discuss and offer their thoughts on hate crime with representatives of Leeds City Council’s Safer Leeds team, West Yorkshire Police and partners, and also find out more about the support which is available in the city to tackle the issue. The national hate crime awareness week was a platform to launch a high-profile campaign and thousands of people signed a pledge to challenge hate crime, report it and work towards stopping it.
Leeds has a clear no tolerance message towards hate crime, and one of the key messages highlighted at each event was how important it was that any instances were reported immediately to either West Yorkshire Police or the council. Residents were also given the reassurance that if a hate crime is reported it will be investigated thoroughly and properly.
Events took place at: Dewsbury Road One Stop Centre, Leeds City Train Station, Leeds City Bus Station, Harehills, St James’ Hospital, Leeds University Union, Armley, White Rose Centre and Leeds Grand Mosque. The community and voluntary sector, Leeds City Council, Safer Leeds, West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner came together to support the events.
The week was very successful and there were many requests from organisations and community groups to raise awareness throughout the week. Leeds City Council and partners supported the national #WeStandTogether message and local #LeedsNoPlaceforHate message.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council executive member for communities, said:
“I’m very proud of the success of the series of events for National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2017. The week has been a great chance to listen to people’s personal experiences and opinions on how we can combat hate crime in our city.
“We are very proud that Leeds is a diverse city and has a history of creating a welcoming, tolerant and compassionate place for people from all background and faiths.
“It’s really important for people to take a stand against hate crime and to report immediately any instance they may experience so it can be investigated thoroughly.”
West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said:
“I was pleased to be able to speak at the Leeds City Council event that launched their updated hate crime strategy ‘Responding to Hate’ as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2017.
“No-one should be subjected to, or fear, abuse because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.
“As the awareness week showed, it is crucial that we work together to do our utmost to eradicate hate in West Yorkshire.
“I would urge anyone who has experienced a hate crime or incident to please report it in whatever way you feel comfortable to ensure it can be dealt with.”