Footballers have teamed up with the police to help kick hate out of Nottinghamshire’s communities.
Mansfield Town’s players showcased their support for Nottinghamshire Police’s hate crime campaign at their training ground.
‘Take aim at hate’ was launched by the force last year in a bid to raise awareness around what a hate crime is, the work the police and its partners are doing to tackle it and the support that exists for victims.
Empowering people to report incidents of hate to the police is another key part of the campaign, with Mansfield Town FC helping spread this important message by taking part in a photo shoot promoting the campaign.
Stags stars Aden Flint, Will Swan, Lucas Akins, Davis Keillor-Dunn, Louis Reed, Aaron Lewis, Callum Johnson, Lewis Brunt, Christy Pym and Scott Flinders all posed with the take aim at hate social media picture frame at the club’s training ground.
The club last year joined fellow Nottinghamshire sides Nottingham Forest and Notts County in signing up to an agreement committing to work in partnership with the police to deal with any hate that occurs at football matches.
As part of this, a joint approach was agreed with all three football clubs about how hate offences are identified, reported, investigated and resolved.
This collaborative work has led to 14 hate crime incidents being reported to police at matches involving the three clubs since last October, with two of these incidents leading to convictions and six leading to action being taken through education workshops and other interventions.
A hate crime can be separated into three types – physical assault, verbal abuse or incitement of hatred – and is any incident that is perceived to be based on someone’s prejudice towards a person because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
Nottinghamshire Police and Mansfield Town are raising awareness on this topic and the force’s take aim at hate campaign as part of the national Hate Crime Awareness Week, which started on Saturday (14 October) and runs until this Saturday (21 October).
Chief Inspector James Walker, Nottinghamshire Police’s hate crime lead, said:
“As a police force, we’re absolutely committed to doing everything in our power to try to eradicate hate from our communities.
“Key to us doing this is by working closely with our community partners, including the county’s three professional football teams, who last year agreed a joint approach for the way hate offences at matches are identified, reported, investigated and resolved.
“This type of behaviour has absolutely no place inside or outside football stadiums because of the destructive impact it can have on people’s lives, and we would always encourage anyone who experiences, witnesses, or hears it to report it to the police immediately.
“We’re very grateful to Mansfield Town for their ongoing efforts to help us tackle hate crime in our communities and for supporting our take aim at hate campaign.”
Mansfield Town club captain Ollie Clarke said:
“Hate crime has no place in football, in the street, online or in wider society.
“As a club, we aim to be as inclusive as possible and to be welcoming to all.
“The club continually promotes inclusion and works actively across Mansfield in championing equality and fairness.
“The club fully supports Nottinghamshire Police’s hate crime campaign and as a squad we reiterate our stance against discrimination and unfair behaviour.”
Anyone wishing to report a hate crime can do so by calling 999 in an emergency, 101 for non-emergencies, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also report a hate crime online at: www.report-it.org.uk