Today Wolverhampton Homes has launched its Stop Hate in Wolverhampton campaign in partnership with the Council, Police, Safer Wolverhampton Partnership and Stop Hate UK. We developed the campaign after tenants at our Get Togethers last year told us we needed to do more to raise awareness of hate crime.
They said that hate crime wasn't a term they recognised and once it was explained, they admitted they would be very reluctant to report it for fear of reprisals or that nothing could be done about it.
We know that hate crime goes un-reported in Wolverhampton. It is thought that nationally for every hate crime that is reported, eight go un-reported.
We wanted to find a way to get people talking about this important issue so that anyone who suffers hate crime feels that it's safe to report it. The campaign is centred around this online pledge. The idea of the pledge is that we want to hear the voice of the usually silent majority, who like all decent people, are horrified by hate crime. Once you've pledged, the site takes you through to a page where you can like the facebook page, tweet your support or show your support with a twibbon on your social media profile.
We're also using traditional media relations, radio advertising, our tenants newsletter, our leaseholders newsletter and our internal publications to communicate the message.
We know that this isn't the kind of campaign that will make a difference in just two or four weeks, so we're running it all through 2012, in the hope that it will make a real difference in the city and to the tenants in the homes we manage.
At the end of the campaign, we'll evaluate the success by the number of people who've pledged, the organisations we've got involved, reports of hate crime and the opinions of tenants about whether they feel safer and more willing to report it.
Please do take the time to show your support.