Hundreds of people have pledged to “say no to hate” and joined the county’s crime commissioner in taking a stand against hate crime.
Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw was supported by police, councillors, members of substance misuse service Inspire and the public in Burnley today.
Mr Grunshaw encouraged people to commit to not “take part in, encourage, condone or ignore hate or hate crimes in our communities” as part of national Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Against the national backdrop of increased hate crime incidents, compared to last year, the campaign seeks to raise awareness of the support available to those affected, how to report incidents as well as sending a clear message that Lancashire is no place for hate.
Mr Grunshaw said: “It has been great to be out in Burnley today signing up people to the ‘Say No To Hate’ pledge. The response has been fantastic and it’s clear that hate filled views are those of a small minority.
“With hundreds signing up and the pledge available online, we have been able to send a clear message that Burnley is no place for hate. I want to thank everyone who came down today to support us.”
Chief Supt Stuart Noble, from Lancashire police, added: “Hate incidents and crimes of any kind can have a devastating effect on the victim, their families and communities. Such behaviour is not acceptable and instances of it need to end. I would urge victims to report any incidents or crimes, so they can get the help and support they need and prevent it from happening to other people.”
Burnley Council leader Mark Townsend said: “There’s no excuse whatsoever for being violent towards someone just because they are perceived to be ‘different’. That’s why I’m backing the ‘Say No to Hate’ campaign.
“I like to think that most Burnley people are tolerant and want to live peacefully with their neighbours.
“Having said that, it’s important that if someone feels they have been the victim of a hate crime, that there are proper ways to report that and tackle it in an appropriate manner, quickly and effectively, as well as giving them the support they need.
“There is strength in unity and we should be coming together to celebrate our differences, and not tolerate those that use them as an excuse for violence and hate.”
To report hate crime, call police on 101 or ring 999 in an emergency.
Anyone affected by hate crime can contact Lancashire Victim Services on 0800 323 0085 for confidential advice and support as well as help reporting the incident if they wish.