This September, individuals across the West Midlands can learn how to safely respond to hate by taking part in free training supported by West Midlands Police.
Called 'Stand by Me UK', the project empowers people who witness bullying, harassment or hate to assist victims using practical and safe interventions. Developed and run by Nottingham-based social enterprise, Communities Inc, it is funded through The Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety, and aims to train 1000 people across England, Scotland, and Wales.
Incidents of hate crime have continued to rise in the UK, but it is widely accepted that the number reported is far less than the amount which actually takes place. Communities Inc launched the Stand by Me Nottingham campaign in 2018, with one of their aims being to raise awareness of the importance of reporting. As a result, 102% of participants said they would be more likely to do so.
Mat Shaer, Chief Superintendent and Force Lead for Hate Crime at West Midlands Police has been keen to bring Stand by Me to the region for a while now. He said:
“I am delighted to be working with Communities Inc in the rollout of their innovative and important Stand by Me programme across the entire West Midlands Police area. This forms part of the collaborative we undertake with partners to tackle hate crime.
"Being the first force in the country to rollout this programme is a further indication the we do not tolerate any type of hate crime against our diverse and multi-cultural communities across the West Midlands.
"Every report of hate crime is taken seriously because such behaviour is unacceptable and can have a significant impact on victims, their families, friends and communities."
The free training will take place between 7-17 September across the West Midlands.