Merseyside’s police commissioner will today join forces with charities and organisations to launch a new campaign aimed at putting a stop to hate crime in the region.
The launch of the Hate Crime Strategy will kick-start two weeks of action aimed at raising awareness of hate crime and ways to tackle it.
The campaign will also promote the support and help available to victims.
The fortnight-long drive marks the anniversaries of the deaths of Anthony Walker (July 30, 2005) and Michael Causer (August 2, 2008), who were both victims of vicious and unprovoked hate crime murders in Merseyside.
The strategy, developed by the Merseyside Criminal Justice Board hate crime sub-group, will be launched this morning at the Museum of Liverpool.
A one-minute silence will be held to remember Anthony, Michael and others who have lost their lives in the region because of hate, fear and intolerance.
Joining Ms Kennedy will be representatives from the Anthony Walker Foundation, Michael Causer Foundation and Moving on with Life and Learning, a charity which supported Gary Skelly, a disabled man who was killed following a one-punch attack.
Also speaking at the event will be Rose Simkins, chief executive of Stop Hate UK, a charity funded by the commissioner to provide an independent third-party support service for victims in Merseyside.
Ms Kennedy said: “I am delighted so many organisations are uniting today to take a stand against hate crime in our region and say it simply will not be tolerated.
“This strategy is about raising awareness of this insidious and damaging crime.
“Sadly, we have seen far too many times in this region, the devastating and catastrophic results of hate crime and the impact on those who are targeted and their loved ones.”
She added: “Despite that, we know that many people do not report the abusive incidents they experience – that might be because they fear of reprisals, because they worry they will not be believed, or simply because they do not know where to go for advice and support.”
Ms Simkins said: “By providing 24-hour support across Merseyside we can help to ensure that anyone experiencing or witnessing hate crime can access independent support at a time that suits them.”
Contact Stop Hate UK by calling 0800 138 1625 or online by clicking here