Plea for help with new hate crime campaign

A CAMPAIGN aimed at tackling hate crime and anti-social behaviour in Eastbourne is on the look-out for volunteers.

Spurred on by the recent jailing of April James in nearby Bexhill, support group Southdown wants to hear from people who consider themselves a minority in a bid to cut down on homophobic and racially motivated crimes.

Earlier this month James, 20, of Carfax Close in Bexhill, was sent to prison for six weeks for her part in an unprovoked attack on a woman travelling on the train with her partner.

The victim was subjected to a torrent of homophobic abuse by a group of five girls, including James, before being kicked in the head after falling to the floor.

Southdown, which provides housing, supported employment and specialist help to disabled and vulnerable people across Sussex, now wants to try and stop this sort of thing from happening again – and is hopeful local people can help out.

Project coordinator, Laura Torrance, said, “It is crucial that the harm targeted harassment can cause is acknowledged and challenged wherever it occurs.

“The appalling case involving April James is a dreadful reminder of the discrimination some people are exposed to.

“I am looking to recruit volunteers who would like to form a project group and work with me to help identify barriers that prevent people reporting incidents of hate related crime and anti-social behaviour, as research shows that both anti-social behaviour and hate crimes are significantly under reported by people from discriminated against groups.

“I will then work with the volunteers to encourage all communities to report incidents and access support when needed.”

Laura is keen to meet with local people from minority groups to talk about the project and give people the opportunity to get involved.

To find out more information on the tackling hate crime campaign call 07581 330264 or email l.torrance@southdownhousing.org.