A local football club has signed up to be part of a borough wide initiative, which makes it easier for victims to report hate crime.
Halesowen Town Football Club is the first football club to become a third-party reporting centre in the borough, which enable victims to report incidents of hate crime without having to go directly to the police.
It means staff at the club have been trained to help victims report the crime via a website which is then passed onto the local police force.
This is an initiative led by West Midlands Police with the support of safe and sound, Dudley’s community safety partnership, which is committed to tackling hate crime and encourage all hate crimes and incidents to be reported.
There are 30 reporting centres across the borough.
Picture caption (left to right): Sarah Nixon, vulnerability officer for the police , Sgt Dan Fox, PC Jon Edwards, Karen Brookes, Halesowen Town director, Dominique Law, Halesowen Town welfare officer, Paul Grainger, health and wellbeing manager at Dudley Council and Sue Haywood, head of community safety at Dudley Council
Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member responsible for community safety, said:
We stand firm, hate crime will not be tolerated anywhere in this borough whether on a football pitch, in the park or between neighbours.
We’re really pleased to have Halesowen Town Football Club on board as part of this initiative to help victims feel comfortable in coming forward and reporting incidents with people or an organisation they trust.
Nationally, the police estimate more than half of hate crimes go unreported, but we don’t want that to be a statistic in Dudley.
We now have 30 reporting centres in operation and I urge people to get in touch if they or someone they know has been a victim of a hate crime.
Kim Madill, chief superintendent for Dudley Police, said:
The safe and sound Partnership is so pleased to see that Halesowen Town Football Club has become a third-party reporting centre for hate crime.
We know it is not always easy for victims of this type of crime to approach police or other public services directly to report so it is great that the club has shown their commitment to tackling hate crime with us by joining our network.
Hate crime will not be tolerated in our communities and I would encourage anyone who suffers this form of abuse to come forward and report it so the partnership can intervene to support them and take action against the perpetrators.
Keith McKenna, Director of Football at Halesowen Town Football Club, said:
Halesowen Town Football Club stands united with the police and local authority against hate crime.
We are proud to be part of this initiative and would like to reassure anyone who has suffered or witnessed a hate crime that we are here to help them, our door is always open.
Anybody can report a hate crime or incident whether they are a victim, witness or a third party. For more information and support on Hate Crime, including a list of all of our third party reporting centres visit https://www.dudleysafeandsound.org/hatecrime