Southend City BID businesses unite against hate crime
Southend City BID businesses are uniting against hate crime this January. Businesses within the BID zone have taken part in crucial awareness training, becoming ambassadors against hate crime to support and protect both Southend residents and visitors alike. This marks the beginning of a pivotal year for Southend City BID, who will continue to passionately prioritise safety within the area throughout their third term.
Southend City BID actively participate in a Southend Hate Crime Group, which has been established to ensure that a multi-agency approach to tackling crime, and establishing interventions, is enacted in the City. This group works to address hate crime, oversee effective solutions, and promote a zero-tolerance policy to crime and anti-social behaviour. Now, it has welcomed BID businesses for a session of hate crime training in order to expand these efforts.
This hate crime training session took place on Wednesday 18th January 2023 and was overseen by a hate crime ambassador from Essex Police. It aimed to help participants identify and support victims of hate crime by equipping them with an in-depth knowledge of what hate crime is, different categories of hate crime, ‘Mate Crime’, how to report an incident, support available for victims, and more.
Discussing the importance of this training, Suzanne Gloyne, Southend City BID Manager, says:
‘Addressing crime in Southend has always been a top priority for the BID and that won’t change in 2023; we remain committed to creating a safe and welcoming space for everyone visiting our wonderful City. As such, this training allowed us to share important information with BID businesses. With the help of Essex Police’s incredible team, we have provided participants with essential knowledge surrounding the realities of hate crime and what they can safely to do support our aligning mission. Together, we can all work to eliminate hate crime in Southend.’
Meanwhile, Gerry O’Grady, Co-Owner at Utopia Coffee Lounge adds:
‘This Hate Crime training session was fantastic and so important. It taught me exactly what Hate Crime is, what it could look like on the streets of Southend, and what I can do as a local business owner to address this issue. I left feeling empowered and really part of a community that cares and wants our City to be the best it can possibly be.’
Inspector Paul Hogben of the Southend Community Policing team shared his thoughts on the importance of this training and the commitment Essex Police has in addressing hate crime in Southend:
‘I am delighted that the cohort of Hate Crime Ambassadors is expanding in Southend. Hate crime remains a priority for Essex Police and we are committed to reducing hate crime and bringing more offenders to justice. However, we know that for a whole host of reasons certain people or groups of people may not feel confident reporting hate incidents directly to the police. This is why it is so important to have more accessible Hate Crime Ambassadors, ensuring victims are supported and helping us build a picture of current or developing issues in all areas of hate crime.’
Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for public protection, said:
‘Everyone has a role in stopping hate and creating safe, inclusive communities. I applaud Southend City BID and the welcome addition of Hate Ambassadors to support residents and visitors. Hate crimes and incidents can take many different forms, even if an incident doesn’t cause physical harm or damage, it doesn’t mean that it is not a crime or that the police and local agencies won’t be interested in knowing about it.
Southend Community Safety Partnership is committed to raising awareness of the very real impact of hate crime and to continue to prevent incidents occurring as well as ensuring those who commit this terrible crime are brought to justice.’