Events are being held throughout Walsall this week to raise awareness about hate crime within the West Midlands.
The events, organised by Black Country Innovate, is taking place during Hate Crime Awareness Week and supporting WalsallForAll’s long term strategy in creating “strong and integrated communities in Walsall.”
Data published by the Home Office last year showed that hate crimes reported to West Midlands Police had increased by 9% from 2016/17 to 2017/18.
Nasar Iqbal, director of Black Country Innovate, said the aim of the Hate Crime Awareness Week Walsall Roadshow is to make more people aware of the Walsall Hate Crime Reduction Initiative.
He said that there many hate crimes go unreported because people aren’t aware of what a hate crime is or where to report it.
“Once they’re aware of what a hate crime is, they’ll understand how to report one so it’s no longer under-reported.”
Mr Iqbal said that over the period of the project he is hoping for under-represented communities to be seen.
The West Midlands ranked 4th out of 44 police forces in the UK for the total number of offences, with race being the highest number of reports.
Mr Iqbal said:
“A lot of hate crimes come from ignorance and we want to educate these perpetrators on the effects it has on the victims. We want victims to tell their story.”
The long-term goal for the Walsall Hate Crime Reduction initiative is “to see various community groups working in partnership in the great town of Walsall.
“We do not want any of our communities to accept any form hatred and we want them to feel safe and confident.”
The next event, part of the Hate Crime Awareness Week Walsall Roadshow, takes place on Tuesday 15th October at The Atrium, Wisemore Campus, Walsall.