Safe Places Sheffield are collaborating with Sheffield Voices and South Yorkshire Police at the Moor Market tomorrow in an effort to inform the public about Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Chloe Wilks, a Safe Places coordinator said: “We’re doing presentations and a flash mob pop up drama on Thursday, with South Yorkshire police, which is really exciting.
“We’ve worked with people with disabilities themselves to put the drama together, all based off experiences they’ve had in their lives with hate crime, re-creating it in quite a moving and hard-hitting way that will hopefully grab more people’s attention.”
When it comes to why Hate Crime Awareness Week is important, Wilks said: “I think a lot of people don’t know what a hate crime is, they don’t know how its defined, so they don’t know when to report it.
“There are the really obvious ones which people know about like disability hate crime and racial hate crime, but there’s also other ones like mate crime, which is not known of as well.
“All these things we need to talk about more so people know they can report it if it does happen to them
“A lot of people don’t really see the importance of reporting it because they don’t see an outcome straightaway.
“Its more of a subtle way to let the police know what’s going on in your area, so that they can get more of an understanding of what hate crimes are going on in your area so they can target those communities and create more of a welcoming and safe space.”
South Yorkshire Police have also put out a strong message, Chief Inspector Mark Goddard, the force’s lead for hate crime, said: “Hate crime in all forms has to stop.
“I want to encourage anyone who is a victim of hate crime to report it. I can promise we will do our very best to bring offenders to justice.
“And I can promise we will ensure you receive the support you need as a result of what can be a traumatic ordeal for many when a hate crime is reported to us.”
What is Hate Crime?
Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by an offender’s prejudice towards someone because of their actual or presumed race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or individual characteristics that makes someone appear different.
What is Mate Crime?
Mate crime is where someone pretends to be friends with a person who is vulnerable (such as someone who has learning disabilities) but then goes on to take advantage, exploit or abuse them.
Where to head for help:
There is currently a network of 50 safe places in Sheffield including cafes, libraries, museums and charity shops where you can head to if you feel vulnerable when you are out and about.
Download their app or click here to find out more.
If you feel like you have been a victim of a hate crime and want to report it to police, you can call 101 or head to smartcontact.southyorkshire.police.uk/