This month, Knowsley Council is marking LGBT+ History Month and celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) history.
As well as offering residents the opportunity to explore LGBT+ history it is also raising awareness of how members of the LGBT+ community can report hate crime.
Sadly, we know members of the LGBT+ community face discrimination across the UK. As part of the council’s commitment to addressing global issues of inequality and discrimination, it uses its role as a local authority to tackle hate crime in the borough.
In 2020, Knowsley Council launched the No More campaign which aims to raise awareness of hate crime, what it is and how it can be reported. It explores the definition of hate crime and how it’s motivated by hostility or prejudice based on things including disability, sex, age, race, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities said:
“While LGBT+ History Month is a celebration of the LGBT+ community it also reminds us that members of the community can face discrimination and hate because of their sexuality and gender identity. Hate has no place in our society, and we are committed to tackling this.”
Alongside raising awareness of hate crime, the Council also convenes regular monitoring meetings with a specific focus on hate crime and ways to identify and target issues. Partners including the Council, Merseyside Police, local housing associations and The Anthony Walker Foundation come together regularly to share their knowledge and experience, identify or tackle specific issues and develop long term strategies and plans to address key areas of concern.
Cllr Powell continued: “We work with partners to address these issues and establish ways to best support those who experience and witness such incidents. By sharing specialist knowledge, we can build our understanding of hate crime and support residents and communities affected.”
What is hate crime?
A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, sex, age, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other perceived difference. You can read more about the forms hate crime comes in here.
How can I report hate crime?
If it feels like the situation could get heated or violent very soon or if someone in immediate danger call 999 straight away.
You can report hate crime online or call 101. If you’d prefer to speak to a police officer in person visit a police station, Merseyside Police can provide a safe and comfortable environment at any of our police stations.
Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable reporting it to the police you can report it to Stop Hate UK 0800 138 1625.
Liverpool Citizens Advice Bureau also provide emotional and practical support for victims of LGBT+ hate incidents, and their families, across Merseyside. Click here to find out more.
Reports can also be made and safety can be found at Merseyside Fire and Rescue stations across Knowsley and Merseyside. Providing there are fire officers on site, you can report any incident of hate crime here. If the fire station is closed and you need immediate assistance all fire stations have yellow phone boxes outside the building that will connect you to the emergency response control room.