Pupils at three Corby primary schools will learn about the impact of hate crime as part of a national initiative.
Corby Council’s neighbourhood management and community safety teams are joining forces with neighbourhood policing this week (October 15 to 20) for National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
The teams will be delivering interactive workshop sessions to all age groups at Corby Primary Academy, Woodnewton - A Learning Community and Hazel Leys Academy, as part of an education programme to raise awareness of what hate crime is and how it affects local communities.
The Corby borough school programme is part of a range of activities being organised across the county by Northamptonshire Police and the Safer Northants Partnership.
A partnership launch was held at Woodnewton Learning Academy yesterday (Monday) to kick-start the countywide programme.
Glyn Rushton, principal of Woodnewton - A Learning Community, said: “At Woodnewton we recognise our similarities and celebrate our differences. It’s all about self-worth.
“It’s our children’s right to be proud of who they are, and as educators it’s our role to help them understand the context in the world we live in today and how we can make it better.”
Hate crime is any criminal offence or incident that is perceived by the victim or any other person, whether a witness, friend or family member, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
This could be because of a person’s disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
Other reasons could include individual characteristics such as an alternative lifestyle, culture or physical appearance.
Last year Northamptonshire Police launched gender-based hostility as a hate crime.
Along with fellow members of the Safer Northants partnership, the force is making it clear there is no place for hate in Northamptonshire, with anyone affected by hate crime urged to report it.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: “It’s impressive how cohesive and inclusive communities in Northamptonshire are.
“It’s really important to me, and to our communities, that we understand how we all work together, because working together is how we are going to make a difference.
“There’s no place in society for prejudice, and there’s no place for hatred.
“As a force we will push hard to root out all forms of prejudice and hate, working with partners and residents to support and create inclusive communities.
“I’m proud to take part in National Hate Crime Awareness Week and to continue to promote the work we do in the communities we serve.”
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “Crimes motivated by hate and prejudice are deplorable.
“My aim is to encourage young people to know and recognise a hate crime, how to get help if they are targeted and how to respond if they see someone else being made a victim because of who they are.
“I strongly believe that we need to continually repeat the message that we should not tolerate intolerance.
“We all have a responsibility to challenge prejudice when we see and hear it and events such as Hate Crime Awareness Week are so important in raising awareness and giving people the confidence to come forward.”
Rukhsana Bashir, hate crime co-ordinator for Northamptonshire Police, said: “Hate Crime Awareness Week is a great opportunity to celebrate our diversity and make it clear that hate crime will not be tolerated in Northamptonshire.
“We are fully committed to working with our partners to tackle all hate crime incidents, whether they are based on people’s race, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation, by encouraging victims to come forward and report it, so that we can challenge this behaviour.
“If we are to prevent hate crime in the future educating our youth is very important.”
Corby Council’s lead member for housing and neighbourhood services, Cllr Bob Eyles, said: “Hate crime is a serious issue for our local communities.
“It affects not only the individuals directly involved, but can lead to local communities feeling unsafe and fearful.
“It is important we begin to teach children from an early age about the value of respecting all people, regardless of their background or identity and encourage them to celebrate difference in a society where multi-culturalism is now an integral part of British identity and culture.”