BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS) working with Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner and Suffolk Community Foundation organised a Hate Crime Training at Meeting Room, 19 Tower Street Ipswich on 11 February. The training was aimed at Taxi Drivers and people who work unsociable hours to raise awareness and understanding of what constitute a hate crime/incident and highlight the importance of reporting such crimes to the police.
BSCMS took this initiative after collecting more than 200 cases of unreported hate crime last year in Ipswich alone. The seriousness of some cases really shocked and horrified BSCMS staff who spoke with many Taxi Drivers, shopkeepers and restaurateurs and felt that something needed to be done about this. The training was the first of a series that will be planned and delivered by the Hate Crime Project throughout 2020. More than 70 people of diverse background attended this training including several key local stakeholders (such as Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk Constabulary, Victim Support, Hawk Express, Avenue Taxis and several local politicians and community leaders).
Speakers included Councillor Alasdair Ross, Portfolio-holder of Public Protection at IBC, police officers, owners of taxi firms, local businessmen, BSCMS staff and of course some taxi drivers and local businessmen. After the training, a group discussion took place and it was agreed to reconvene at a later date to explore ways of protecting those who work unsociable hours from becoming victims of hate crime in the future.