New recruits in the war on hate crime

Students at East Durham College with police and guest speaks.
Students at East Durham College with police and guest speaks.
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YOUNG people in East Durham are helping to tackle hate crime.

East Durham College and Durham Constabulary have joined forces to help raise awareness of hate crimes among young people.

The first of two events was held this week at the college’s Peterlee Campus and the second was held the next day at the Houghall Campus in Durham.

During the events, there were a number of different interactive sessions, including talks from guest speakers.

Among the visitors was Mohammed Sadiq, vice-chairman of the BME, Black and Minority Ethnic, Independent Advisory Group, who talked to the students about racial-hate crime.

Emma Roebuck, chief officer for Gay Advice Darlington and Durham, gave the young people lots of information about LGBT, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender hate crime.

Jim Welsh, chairman of Blind Life Durham, was also at the event to speak about disability hate crime.

Simone Collpitts, director of teaching and learning at East Durham College, said the workshops were great for the students who learned about an important problem and how to deal with it.

She said: “It’s great to be able to work with Durham Constabulary on this event, that has helped to bring some important issues to the attention of our students here at the college.

“We hope this event will reinforce positive messages to both staff and students across all of the East Durham College sites.”

Durham Constabulary, which has six dedicated Community Cohesion Officers throughout the force, set up the events to help reinforce positive messages to students and staff at the college, by looking to promote positive images, increase public satisfaction and increase the reporting of hate incidents.

Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Reducing the impact of hate crime is one of my personal priorities in my police and crime plan.

“These events are an excellent example of agencies working together to raise awareness of hate crime, for both staff and students alike.”