Art group shines spotlight on hate crime

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Hate crime was thrown into the spotlight when police visited a South Tyneside arts venue in a bid to boost confidence among vulnerable adults.

Officers from a range of sections within Northumbria Police shared their roles with those who attend Arts 4 Wellbeing in Derby Terrace in South Shields.

Their visits were part of Hate Crime Awareness Week which ran from October 10 - 17, which aims to encourage people not to suffer in silence. Hate crime is perceived by any person, as being motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic such as age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, race and faith.

Project manager Raylee Harrison said: “We have been working alongside the police to build up confidence and trust within the community around reporting a hate crime incident.

“We looked at all the support and encouragement the vulnerable adults have through Arts 4 Wellbeing and the police.”

The visits by officers which included those from the firearms and dog sections as well as the local community policing team followed a trip by members to SafetyWorks.

The Newcastle-based centre provides interactive scenarios to help visitors learn how to prevent danger and live safely including water safety, home fire safety and police led sessions.

Arts 4 Wellbeing provides a place where people with learning and physical disabilities, or those suffering from a mental health illness, can explore their creative talents through painting, drawing, dance and drama.

Hate Crime can be reported to police on 101.