Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has united with the region’s football clubs to promote National Hate Crime Awareness Week and encourage victims to report incidents of hate.

Taking place between Saturday 12th to Saturday 19th October, the campaign reinforces the message that Merseyside is #NoPlaceForHate.

Throughout the week, Jane Kennedy will be supporting both national and regional campaigns and is working with partners including Liverpool F.C, Everton F.C and Tranmere Rovers to publicise the ways victims can report incidents of abuse. This includes taking the anti-hate message to Anfield, Goodison and Prenton Park through articles in the match day programmes encouraging victims to report incidents to the police or to the national charity Stop Hate UK. Stop Hate UK have been commissioned by the PCC to provide an alternative, non-police route of reporting.

The articles also explain how there are now more than 90 third party hate crime reporting centres across Merseyside where victims can get help to report a hate crime in a safe and secure environment. In addition, 1,000 beer mats promoting Stop Hate UK will be distributed at Goodison Park on Saturday 19th October for Everton’s game against West Ham.

During the week Jane and her team will also be promoting Stop Hate UK and the three dedicated support services she commissions to provide care for victims – the Anthony Walker Foundation, Daisy Inclusive UK and Citizens Advice Liverpool – in communities across Merseyside.

On Wednesday 16th, two leaflets drops will be held in key areas where there has been recent issues with hate crime promoting the Stop Hate UK service. In Kensington, the Commissioner’s team will join Councillors, local authority representatives, the local policing team and representatives from Steve Biko Housing, while other members of the team will be joined by PCSOs and Knowsley Council’s Community Safety team to carry out activity in Kirkby

Jane said: “National Hate Crime Awareness Week is an important date in the calendar for me. It gives us all the opportunity to celebrate and promote the rich diversity of our communities, while coming together to reaffirm and renew our commitment to challenging and tackling acts inspired by hate of all kind.

“At a time when our country and indeed the world is deeply divided, it is more essential than ever that we remain vigilant to combat discrimination, racism and prejudice and I’m delighted that our fantastic football clubs and a host of other partners across the region are uniting with me to take this message to thousands of people across Merseyside.

“Hate crimes are known to have devastating, long term consequences for those who are targeted. We also know that if hate-fuelled attitudes are not tackled at an early stage they can escalate and lead to very serious crimes. However, sadly most people who experience hate crime still do not report it.

“Nobody should suffer fear, intimidation and abuse because of who they are – that’s why I am uniting with Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers football clubs to show hate crime the red card and urge anyone who has been subjected to hate not to suffer silence. Contact Merseyside Police, or, if for any reason you don’t feel comfortable speaking to the police, please do reach out to Stop Hate UK.”

The PCC has also written a letter of support for the national Hate Crime Awareness Week campaign and made a video pledge for the #Betterthanthat campaign being run in St Helens.