Everton Football Club and
Merseyside Police joined forces
MERSEYSIDE Police have joined forces
with Everton Football Club to urge people to take a stance against hate crime.
Ahead of the launch of the force's Hate Crime Awareness Week this weekend
officers from Merseyside Police's Sigma Hate Investigation Unit and Public
Protection Unit visited Goodison Park, on Wednesday, 5 October 2016, to help
educate stewards and other fan facing staff at the Club on how to identify,
challenge and report hate crime.
Detective Constable Tracy O'Hara and Detective Constable Dominique Walker will
deliver a 'pop up' training session to head and deputy head
stewards, Box Office and fan services staff with the training to be rolled out
to the Club's remaining stewards during the Club's international break, in
November 2016. The training will focus on what hate crime is and what can be
done to prevent it and tackle it together with real life 'what would you do?'
scenarios. The sessions will also include inputs from the Anthony Walker
Foundation, Stonewall and other agencies who will be invited as guest speakers.
It is hoped that the Force will be able to roll out the training sessions to
other sports clubs and organisations across Merseyside. A number of Everton FC
players have also been pictured with a 'Help Stop Hate' board to reinforce the
Merseyside Police takes the issue of hate crime very seriously and the purpose
of hate crime awareness week is to educate people about what constitutes a hate
crime and encourage them to come forward if they have been a victim so prompt
action can be taken. Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley said:- "We
know that hate crime goes hugely under-reported. It comes in a lot of different
guises but we recognise the impact that it has on individuals and communities
and I want to reassure people that it is an issue that we take very seriously
and victims will be dealt with sensitively. We work closely with a number of
partner agencies to help give people the confidence to report if they are a
victim and there are a number of third party reporting centres across
Merseyside, such as:- Fire Stations, Citizens Advice Bureaus and Hospitals,
where people may feel more comfortable discussing the issue with an independent
party. I am delighted that Everton Football Club has agreed to work with us in
helping raise awareness of such an important issue.I know that Everton already
does a lot of work as a club to support all of its fan base and I am pleased
that they have joined with us to get the message out that hate crime will not be
tolerated on their terraces and will be challenged."
Gill Derbyshire, Everton Football Club's Head of Fan Services said:- "Our
stewards, Box Office staff and Fan Services teams are already regarded as the
best in the Premier League from the Match Attender and other annual surveys
conducted. This training is an opportunity to further reinforce that hate crime
will not be tolerated at Everton whether that be in the stands, on the streets
or in the workplace. Equality and diversity are fundamental principals at the
core of this Club and it is through such training that the Club can maintain its
commitment to tackling all incidents and crimes motivated by hostility and
prejudice against an identifiable group such as race, religion, sexual
orientation, transgender, disability age or gender."
As a football club, Everton have openly been leading the way in ensuring the
Club's stance on hate crime is vocal and unequivocal. Members of Everton's 1st
team, under 23's, ladies and disability teams recently recorded a special
message which is played out on the big screen and in the concourses at every
match day to showcase the diverse nature of players representing the Club at
every level. The club were also recently awarded the Intermediate Level of the
Premier League's Equality Standard, a measure of Everton's work around inclusion
and anti-discrimination in the game with the Club aiming to progress forward to
achieve the Advanced award.
In the last 12 months Everton has signed up to the autism charter, singed the
'Time to Change' pledge to tackle discrimination and the stigma associated with
mental health, delivered equality, diversity and inclusion training to all its
staff, become the first football club to appoint a Disability Access Officer and
operate a staff working group leading on equality, diversity and inclusion
Gill added:- "We look forward to continuing to learn and sharpen our
understanding of the key issues surrounding hate crime and this training will
give our fan facing staff the continued confidence of knowing how to deal with a
hate crime situation if it arises."
To report a hate crime contact Merseyside Police on:- 999, in an emergency or
101. Stop Hate UK can also be contacted by calling:- 0800 138 1625.