WGT Hate Crime Zoom Event: 2nd February 2021
An open invitation to the women of Oldham attracted 28 participants. Doreen, as co-ordinator of this group, welcomed everyone, then handed over to Betsy who efficiently chaired the meeting. Betsy explained that Virbai would begin the meeting.
Virbai introduced the subject, using a power point presentation which underlined her description of this crime. A quiz established that it is not new, and that although there has been some progress in tackling the problem there is still much to do. An explanation of what constitutes hate crime followed, and importantly, advice on how to report an incident. Details of how to do this appeared on screen.
It was reassuring to discover that it is possible for victims and witnesses to report in person, by phone or online to a variety of organisations, after the event if necessary, ensuring that all feel safe when doing this. The value of reporting even when not seeking action, was emphasised. How else will the police authorities, the council or community workers know what is going on in our borough? Virbai was thanked for her clear presentation and then Najma was invited to describe her experience of hate crime in Oldham in 2020.
We are grateful to Najma for her willingness to share with strangers an upsetting experience when she was simply doing her job. We also appreciate the contributions of 3 other participants who decided to share their experiences or views on the subject before the meeting ended. Betsy asked participants to complete an evaluation of the meeting before Doreen expressed her thanks to everyone involved. She spoke for us all, I think, when she said that she had learnt a lot!