COMMUNITIES across Wirral are being urged to come together in the fight against hate crime as part of a national campaign this week.

Hate crime can involve people being targeted based on their disability, gender identity, race, religion and sexual orientation.

Wirral Council and Merseyside Police will be helping raise awareness of the issues as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week. The following events are taking place in Wirral:

  • Merseyside Police Safer Schools Officers will be showing Hate Crime Awareness videos in schools across the borough, including the Daisy UK video launched by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Merseyside Police will be running internal training sessions to increase knowledge of all internal and external hate crime support networks
  • Awareness training session with the Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association to improve officer’s with cultural education and awareness

Urging our readers to report any incidents of hate crime, Superintendent Sarah Kenwright said: "Merseyside has a reputation for being a welcoming, friendly place and there is no place here for hate crime.

"If you are aware of a repeat offender on your street, of an individual or family who are being subjected to hate, or if you see anything online or while out and about, please tell us.

"We want to actively encourage our communities to be our eyes and ears and firmly believe they play a crucial role in spotting and reporting a hate crime."

Cllr Helen Cameron, chair of Wirral's tourism, communities, culture and leisure committee, said: "Key activities and engagement during this awareness week will remind more people to play an active role supporting the police and authorities in tackling hate crime.

"By challenging unacceptable behaviour if we encounter it in our daily lives and reporting any incidents, we can make sure that everyone feels safe and welcome in Wirral.

"This issue is one of our priority areas for action in our five-year Community Safety Strategy, to continue to act on every instance of hate crime".

Merseyside's police and crime commissioner Emily Spurrell said: "National Hate Crime Awareness Week is an important date in the calendar for me.

"It gives us all the opportunity to celebrate and promote the rich diversity of our communities, while coming together to reaffirm and renew our commitment to challenging and tackling all acts of hatred and prejudice.

"At a time when our country sadly still feels quite divided and, in the wake of a recent increase in incidents of hate crime, it is more important than ever that we remain vigilant to combat discrimination, abuse and prejudice.

Let me make it clear, crimes motivated by hate have no place in our society."

If you have witnessed a hate crime, or have any information, please contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact Centre. You can also call 101.

If, for any reason, you do not wish to the report to the police, Stop Hate UK will ensure you get the appropriate emotional and practical support.

They offer a free, confident and accessible 24/7 reporting service for all victims of hate crime, including multi-lingual reporting, the Stop Hate UK app, phone line 0800 138 1625 and webchat