South Yorkshire Police are raising awareness of hate and their new ‘Hate Hurts. Report it.’ campaign at Rotherham United’s dedicated Kick it Out match against Fulham at today’s game.
To demonstrate this support and raise awareness at the nominated ‘Kick it out’match, football’s equality inclusion organisation to kick racism out of football, police have kitted out all of the ball kids with hate hurt t-shirts, and placed hate hurt posters and material throughout the stadium.
This isn’t the first time SYP and Rotherham United have worked together to raise awareness of hate and the action taken to put a stop to it. Some of the previous partnership work has included SYP and RUFC working together to raise awareness of Operation Solar, Rotherham’s dedicated anonymous reporting channel, at the home game with Burton in December.
PC Chris Nicholson, who is leading Rotherham’s Operation Solar initiative, and has been involved in the partnership work, commented on its purpose and importance: “Hate in all of its forms, is a serious offence and SYP with the support of different partner organisations, such as Rotherham United, are working to raise awareness of and encourage both victims and witnesses to come forward and report it to police, so we can work to put a stop to it.
“Our new force wide campaign ‘Hate hurts. Report it’, was launched back in February as it is recognised hate is widely under reported. To address this and encourage reporting, the campaign aims to work and engage with different community groups to raise awareness of hate, build victim’s confidence and prevent further crimes from being committed.
“The work done with Rotherham United is just some of the action and work to increase awareness of hate and reporting in Rotherham and throughout South Yorkshire. Other activity and action taken as part of this work, has included engaging with members of the community at local colleges, supporting the Gender Matters exhibition, working with local partnership organisations to promote reporting channels such as Operation Solar, and setting up discussion forums between specialist trained officers and local community groups.
“Everyone at SYP is dedicated to stopping hate and through continued engagement opportunities, we will continue to raise awareness and encourage everyone to report it.”
Head of community Jamie Noble has also commented on the partnership work and their support for both the ‘Hate Hurts’ campaign and Operation Solar: “Rotherham United were delighted to play a major role in the launch of Operation Solar at the home game against Burton Albion at around Christmas time.
"With the campaign now entering a new phase, we are thrilled to once again throw our support behind a terrific community initiative which aims to stop hate crime, which is something that our Community Sports Trust and the Football Club have been heavily involved in tackling over a number of years.
"Our Community Sports Trust’s base is one of a number of voluntary and community sector organisations within Rotherham and we are proud to be listed as one of the area’s Hate Crime Reporting Centre’s.
"With the support of the club and working with South Yorkshire Police’s Chris Nicholson, we are proud to once again be backing a highly important and vital community project."
Anyone, whether you have been a victim of hate or a witness, is urged to please report it to police via either 101, through Rotherham’s anonymous reporting channel on firstname.lastname@example.org or through a third party reporting centre.