Foundation to shed light on hate crime

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Anthony Walker © 4WardEver Campaign UK

Anthony Walker © 4WardEver Campaign UK

The Anthony Walker Foundation is seeking to break the silence about hate crime and raise awareness in a series of new events.

The foundation, based in the city centre, was established by Anthony Walker’s family following his tragic death in a racially-motivated attack in July 2005.

Anthony, from Huyton, was brutally murdered with an ice axe in an unprovoked attack, purely because of the colour of his skin.

Paul Taylor and Michael Barton, who is the half-brother of footballer Joey Barton, were found guilty of racially motivated murder. Barton was ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years and eight months, while Taylor admitted murder and must serve at least 23 years and eight months.

The foundation’s current campaign is a response to the government’s plan to tackle hate crime released this time last year: ‘Challenge it, Report it, Stop it’.

The programme aims to raise awareness of hate crime and also what people can do once they have become a victim and how to report it. The events will also discuss issues surrounding why it is under-reported.

Additionally, it will seek to ensure members of the community can recognise when, where and how a hate crime occurs and what steps they can take on a personal level; irrespective of whether they are the primary victim, or whether they witness the incident.

Liverpool’s first police and crime commissioner, Jane Kennedy, who was appointed in November 2012, has listed tackling hate crime as one of her top six priorities.

In September 2012, the Home Office published statistics on hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales for the first time. In 2011/2012, almost 44, 000 hate crimes were documented, over 80 per cent of which were racially motivated.

However, The Anthony Walker Foundation believes that, despite this large figure, the majority of racially motivated crimes go unreported. As a result they want to break down the barrier between victims and reporting crime and are putting on these events in a bid to help to do so.

John Au, Victim Support Worker at the AWF, told JMU Journalism: “We hope to make a significant impact on the way services are delivered to people affected by hate crime and incidents. By listening and responding to their views, acknowledging their feelings, and recognising their needs we can then begin to demonstrate we are putting individuals first and offering them a genuine personal service.

“We want to send out a collective message to the communities within Liverpool that there is absolutely no place for hate crime whatsoever and that by working together, individuals, families, communities and agencies, we can make a difference and build safer, cohesive and more confident communities.

“This will reinforce the image we are striving to achieve in Liverpool of a city welcoming diversity, valuing individuals and promoting harmony.”

The events will take place on:

21st March, 11am – 2pm, at Al-Ghazali Multi-Cultural Centre, Earle Road, L7

26th March, 10:30am – 1:30pm, Alive Believers Centre, Boaler Street, L6

If you have been a victim of a hate crime you can call the Anthony Walker Foundation’s confidential support line on 0800 876 6646. Alternatively, you may call the 24 hour Stop Hate UK confidential hotline on 0800 138 1625.

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About Madelaine Cornforth, JMU Journalism