Conference aims to tackle hate crime

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Victim Support’s Hate Crime Service in West Sussex, in conjunction with West Sussex County Council are holding a conference on Tuesday (February 11) at the Hawth in Crawley.

The event is to publicise the impact of hate crime upon individuals and communities and to encourage those who are suffering from these types of personal and very insidious crimes to come forward and report them.

There will be wide ranging presentations from numbers of organisations including a theatre production by Sunny Arts, a Sussex theatre company who are producing a new piece of work for the conference about homophobia.

In addition, there will be a display and presentation by students from Northbrook College in Worthing, who have produced some excellent visual material, pictures, poems and a DVD encouraging people to report hate crime.

There are also numbers of excellent speakers telling the conference about how hate crime has affected their lives, and why people should come forward and not ‘suffer in silence’

Graham Hill a Senior Manager with Victim Support who heads up the Hate Crime Service said: “All too often people are targeted because others perceive them as somehow being different.

“This can be because of that person’s race or faith, their disability, their sexuality or because their gender identity.

“Whatever the reason, such behaviour is unacceptable.

“The title of this conference is not just about encouraging those who are directly suffering from these incidents to report it, but also towards those who know that it is happening but do nothing about it.”

The conference starts at 9.30am and will be running all day.

Already upwards of 100 people have booked a place but there are still places available. Anybody wishing to attend should contact SussexHateIncident@victimsupport.org.uk or phone 01293 613010

Further information can be obtained from Heena Patel or Graham Hill on the above E mail or phone number

The Hate Incident Reporting Service is a 3rd party reporting Service covering West Sussex where people can report hate crimes or incidents confidentially, and access one to one support

Victim Support is a national charity providing emotional and practical help to victims of crime.