Hate Crime DVD Launched in Sign Language
Deaf people who have experienced hate crime are being urged to report it with the help of a new DVD in British Sign Language.
Glasgow Community and Safety Services (GCSS) and Strathclyde Police have teamed up with the British Deaf Association (Scotland) to produce a DVD for Deaf people.
Produced in British Sign Language (BSL), the film highlights the different ways in which anyone who experiences a hate crime can report it to police and assures them their complaint will be treated seriously.
Scots law defines hate crime as a crime committed against a person or property which is motivated by malice or ill-will towards an identifiable social group. This could be due to a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or a disability.
Anyone who experiences or witnesses a hate crime is urged to report it to Strathclyde Police either in person, by phone, letter or online.
Anyone reluctant to report an incident directly to the police can also use Glasgow's 26 Third Party Reporting centres. These are organisations such as the British Deaf Association and the Ishara Project at Deaf Connections where staff are trained to take reports and provide victims with support. Reports are confidential and will only be passed to the police with a victim's consent.
The DVD was launched at Deaf Connections in Norfolk Street, Glasgow. The voluntary organisation delivers specialist services to adult Deaf people and is committed to enabling them to participate fully in the community.
Councillor Alex Glass, Chair of GCSS, said: "Hate crime will not be tolerated in Glasgow and this useful DVD will ensure Deaf people have information on all the options available to report a crime.
"It has been produced through partnership working and is designed to highlight the help available and to encourage more people to come forward if they are subjected to any type of hate crime."
Sergeant Colin Forbes of Strathclyde Police said: "We are committed to providing a professional and consistent approach to victims of Hate Crime treating everyone equally with due regard to their differences.
"The launch of the BSL DVD 'What You Need to Know' is a great opportunity to raise awareness within the community that all forms of Hate Crime are wrong and people should feel confident to report it knowing they will be supported. Together we can continue keeping people safe within the community."
A spokeswoman for the British Deaf Association (Scotland) said: "BSL users do not always have the same access to information as their hearing friends and family but they may still be attacked or bullied because they are Deaf and using British Sign Language in public."
John Speirs, Community Services Manager at Deaf Connections, said: "Deaf Connections supports this excellent initiative. Every year we have hundreds of requests for help from people who need support with communication or accessing services. Many also experience discrimination ranging from low level abuse to more direct harassment. In our experience most will not have the confidence or knowledge to report these incidents.
"We see this initiative as a major step towards highlighting this type of crime and its effects."
Guests at the event receive copies of the DVD which can also be obtained by emailing Pauline Kelly at GCSS on firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding for the DVD was provided by Glasgow Community Planning Partnership.
To report a hate crime online visit www.strathclyde.police.uk click on Report a Crime then click on Hate Crime.