Back in May 2022, members of Congleton Pride undertook some training from Cheshire Constabulary, to get trained in supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and other non-conforming gender/sexuality (LGBTQIA+) people from Congleton to feel confident in reporting hate crime.
In a survey conducted by the Congleton Pride, 63% of LGBTQIA+ respondents reported experiencing some harassment or abuse in Congleton but almost two-thirds had not reported an incident to the Police, either because they didn’t know how to or because they thought nothing would be done.
Now the Congleton Pride team has become a Reporting Centre, qualified to support anyone who has been subjected to hate crime or abuse and help them report it to the police, if they wish to. Anyone at a Pride event can approach a member of the team and have a private chat about what happened, then the Pride representative can help them decide what to do next.
Inspector Jim Adams of Congleton & Sandbach Local Policing Unit said “Experience has shown that some victims of hate crime are reluctant to report it to the police, but we really do want it reported so that we can continue to take action against people who commit these offences. Even anonymous reports allow us to build up a body of intelligence against repeat perpetrators, so it is always worth reporting. I’m grateful to Congleton Pride for agreeing to take this on for our community.”
Pride Co-chair Ronan Clayton added “Many of us have been subjected to abuse in the past, and it is always good to have someone to share these experiences with, even if it doesn’t always end up as a police matter. We are determined to make Congleton a safer place for LGBTQI+ people, so helping them get support and justice when these crimes are committed is an important part of what Pride is about.”
Kay Wesley, a Pride Trustee, commented “The team is now trained to support victims of any type of hate crime, including disability, race, or religion, as well as LGBTQIA+. I hope people will feel comfortable coming to talk to us, knowing that we are trained to give the right support with regard to reporting hate incidents.”
Anyone who has been subjected to LGBTQIA+ abuse or any other hate crime can report it at www.report-it.org.uk. This will be routed to Cheshire Police for follow up. In an emergency dial 999 or to report to local Police in a non-emergency call 101.