YOUNG people in Tameside are learning about the devastating effects of hate crime through interactive drama.
Tameside Council’s Neighbourhood Services and Youth Services have teamed together with Prime Active Communities CIC and Greater Manchester Police to deliver awareness sessions at local schools.
Students at Great Academy Ashton, Broadoak Road, were the latest to benefit from the sessions, which focused on the legal consequences of hate crime and the effect it can have on the wider community.
Prime Active Communities CIC performed three short dramas on racism, homophobia and disability. These were each followed by Youth Services discussing with students the crimes that had been committed, their views on the incidents and how they could have been handled differently. PCSO Gary Etchells, from Neighbourhood Policing, then talked about similar real life cases and how they were dealt with by the law.
Greater Manchester has experienced high-profile incidents of hate crime but much work is being done to eradicate it. The sessions were funded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority Hate Crime Fund and the Academy.
The project also supports Tameside Council’s Our Streets campaign, which is bringing the local authority, partners and public together to create a cleaner, greener, safer borough.
Hate crime is any crime that is targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s alternative subculture, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender ID/ gender reassignment.
Cllr Allison Gwynne, Tameside Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, attended one of the sessions.
She said: “It’s appalling that people can face abuse or violence just because of who they are but a lot of work is taking place in Tameside to eradicate hate crime. This includes educational activities such as this, which are doing a great service in raising awareness of hate crime and its effects.
“An interactive play is an effective way to engage with young people and it was wonderful to see the students at Great Academy taking on board the issues. I’m sure they will be great ambassadors for Tameside in standing up against hate crime, spreading educational messages and supporting those affected.”
If you’re a victim of hate crime, you can seek help or make a report by visiting www.report-it.org.uk/your_police_force or for anti-Muslim hate crime, https://tellmamauk.org. Alternatively, in an emergency call 999 or for a non-emergency 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.