NEW funding to help tackle racial abuse will see shop workers who have been victims of hate crimes receive “spy” name badges.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy is to buy 48 of the devices in a bid to crackdown on racism.
The semi-covert video cameras – which will cost £35,000 – look like large name badges and will provide support and reassurance to victims of racial abuse.
They will capture vital evidence which can be used to ensure offenders are successfully investigated and prosecuted.
An additional £30,000 will be used to buy 100 personal safety devices for use by high-risk victims of domestic abuse, harassment and stalking.
The devices, which have GPS tracking, consist of a small personal attack alarm which is monitored to ensure victims can be located and also provides users with the option of leaving “safety messages” detailing where they are going and when they should return in order to provide additional protection.
Another £28,550 will go to Wirral, Liverpool and Sefton Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (RASA) to enable them to provide counselling and support services for male survivors of sexual violence.
The schemes are being funded by grants from the Ministry of Justice, which will see more than £105,000 of funding allocated to victims in the region.
A fourth bid that received £25,000 funding was a joint submission with Cheshire’s PCC John Dwyer to provide support for male and female victims of sexual abuse across both counties.
Ms Kennedy said: “I welcome the news that victims in our region will receive extra support and reassurance through this additional funding from the Ministry of Justice.
“This money will go towards supporting some of the most vulnerable people in Merseyside, victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence and hate crime.
“The submission of these bids demonstrates the Force and I are constantly looking at new and innovative ways to give victims on Merseyside the support, reassurance and help they deserve and I am delighted that this extra funding will make a difference towards their quality of life.”
RASA’s non-clinical lead Josephine Wood MBE added: “Approximately 14% of our client base is currently male and we know this is the tip of the iceberg.
“This funding will mean that we can now develop this arm of our service further and better serve male survivors in a considered, confidential and professional way. We will assess each victim that seeks our support individually to identify his needs and care pathway to help him cope and recover from the abuse he has experienced.
“RASA works with all victims of sexual violence across Merseyside, whether that sexual violence is current, recent or happened long ago.”
The £12.5m pot of funding has been raised by the MoJ from additional receipts from offenders through the Victim Surcharge and increased financial penalties.