A group of local advocacy organisations led by SPECTRUM, Centre for Independent Living CIC, have come together to launch a new anti-hate campaign, ‘Love Don’t Hate’, to tackle hate crime in Southampton in conjunction with National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
We are proud to support this campaign, which aims to raise awareness of hate crime in the city and promote the reporting process, and, ultimately, encourage everyone in Southampton to adopt a zero tolerance on hate crime in Southampton.
Recent statistics reveal that Southampton is the second worst city in the UK for hate crime. Almost 600 incidents of hate crime were reported in 2016/7 - a 30 percent increase on the previous year - but community organisations including those already backing Love Don’t Hate, suggest the number of offences may even be much higher.
Ian Loynes, Chief Executive of SPECTRUM, said: “It is unacceptable that in a city like Southampton, people are being allowed to get away with treating others unfairly and maliciously because of their differences. We want both those personally affected by hate crime and those witnessing them as they occur to speak out.”
To make the reporting process easier, the community wide partnership has created a network of 18 reporting centres across Southampton, where victims can access support. A new smartphone app, Southampton Love Don’t Hate, has also been developed as part of the Love Don’t Hate campaign to promote online reporting.
The app, which is available to download on Google Play and Apple for Android, allows its users to immediately report a hate crime to the nearest third party reporting centre. Users can also request a call back from the nearest reporting centre via the app should they require it, and use the app to learn more about what a hate crime is and the types of hate crimes that can occur.
Ian added: “Everyone in Southampton should feel confident and sufficiently empowered to recognise and report incidents of hate crime, yet we know from statistics and first hand experience this is very often not the case.
“We cannot tackle crimes that are not reported, and so addressing under-reporting in the first instance is crucial to our broader aim of reducing these incidents and making Southampton a better and safer city, with zero tolerance of this behaviour.”
Help make Southampton a fairer and safer place. Search ‘Southampton Hate Crime’ on Google Play and Apple for Android.