VICTIMS of ‘hate crime’ are being encouraged to attend an event being held in Littlehampton later this month for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) communities.
The event, ‘Don’t Support it, Report it’, on Tuesday, September 24 at the Manor House, Church Street, is being organised by Victim Support, to raise awareness and to encourage the reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents.
Speakers from Sussex Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, Victim Support and people within the LGBT communities will be taking part.
Graham Hill, a senior manager from Victim Support, said: “The majority of crimes targeted against people because of their sexuality or gender go unreported and in consequence, victims suffer in silence. This can be verbal or physical abuse, harassment, damage to their property or threats and intimidation.
“There is help and support out in the community, and it is only right that people who are often frightened and very vulnerable should be able to have access to that support.
“The police take such hate crimes very seriously and deal with them sensitively. Victim Support works closely with the police across West Sussex to make sure that every victim of hate crime is offered support and help.
“If for any reason people feel unable to go to the police, they can refer themselves to the specialist hate crime service and confidential help will be offered.”
While the numbers of people reporting hate crimes and incidents against them because of their sexuality or gender has steadily increased, all the evidence indicates that the majority of those suffering do not report them. Others know it is going on but choose to say nothing. By doing nothing they are supporting it – hence the event’s title.
Crimes and incidents of this nature can be reported to the Hate Crime Service, working with West Sussex County Council and the district and borough councils across the county by – phoning Victim Support on 0845 3899 528 (8am-8pm, Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm, Saturday); phoning the West Sussex hate incident reporting line on 0845 075 1021, emailing SussexHateIncidentReport@victimsupport.org.uk or writing to Victim Support, PO Box 101, Crawley, RH10 8UA.
Graham added “Raising awareness of the problem through events like the forthcoming one in Littlehampton can only help to create an environment in which often vulnerable and frightened people can get the support they need.”
Anybody wishing to attend this event, which runs from 11am-3pm, should contact the Hate Crime Service by phoning 01293 613010.