Southampton United Against Hate10th October 2016
For National Hate Crime Awareness Week (8 – 14 October 2016) Southampton is taking the opportunity to openly discuss the issue of hate crime and show solidarity in the face of prejudice and intolerance. The week is an opportunity for local organisations, partnerships, community and voluntary sector groups to share with others to promote an awareness of hate incidents and crimes and to encourage reporting.
The Southampton Connect group, a forum of leaders from some of the city’s major organisations, have set the example by putting their names to the city’s pledge against hate. By committing to the pledge they have agreed to work together to create a city that continues to embrace diversity in all its forms and makes it easier for people come forward and report any incidents that they experience.
The full pledge can be read at southampton.gov.uk/wearesoton
Throughout the week, organisations and individuals are being encouraged to add their voice to the Southampton United Against Hate campaign by sharing their experiences, showing solidarity and having their say on the issue via social media. People can join in by using the hashtag #WeAreSoton on Twitter and Facebook.
The timing of this campaign follows a national rise in hate crime reports after the EU Referendum. There is also a rise over the year nationally in other forms of Hate, prejudice and intolerance including disability hate.
While local reporting to the police for hate crimes does not show a substantial rise, national and local evidence continues to suggest significant under-reporting of hate incidents and crimes. Local feedback from communities and agencies suggests now is the right time to reaffirm that Southampton is a city that welcomes and values diversity, and is united against all forms of hate.
Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Leisure at Southampton City Council, said:
“It is vitally important that city leaders stand together against hate. I have been personally shocked and saddened by the reports I’ve heard of casual racism from communities and individuals who have contributed greatly and continue to make Southampton the vibrant and welcoming city that it is.
“We are using National Hate Crime Awareness Week to demonstrate that we are taking the issue seriously and encouraging people to report any incidents they witness. We have a zero tolerance policy towards all types of hate and it is everyone’s responsibility to report it when they see it.”
Superintendent Alison Heydari of Hampshire Constabulary, said:
"Hampshire Constabulary is committed to celebrating diversity. In Southampton, we are dedicated to bringing people together from a variety of backgrounds and building mutual trust and respect.
“We take reports of hate crime very seriously, but we understand that some people may feel reluctant to report it to us. This campaign outlines all the avenues available to those who feel they have been victim of hate crime and reminds those who witness it to also speak up.
“Community cohesion is key and anything that jeopardises this should be challenged, and won’t be tolerated. Southampton is a vibrant city that I am proud to police, a city we should all be proud of. “
Connect members around city pledge
Hate crime strapline