In collaboration with Bolton Council, officers from GMP’s Bolton district have been working to deliver hate crime training to staff at Bolton Wanderers Football Club.
With the aim to encourage more victims to report, and to make the process easier for them to do so, officers have delivered training to 60 members of staff since May 2022 – including match day stewards, stadium hotel staff and mentors from the club’s official charity, Bolton Wanderers in the Community (BWitC).
The training is part of GMP’s commitment to ensuring that victims of hate crime are supported and feel confident in reporting their experiences. Once the members of staff have completed the training programme, they are then able to become official hate crime recording centres. This allows victims to report an incident, and still receive support and advice if they feel uncomfortable going directly to the police.
This reporting centre is more dynamic than ever, with staff being trained to look out for signs of hate crime throughout all aspects of the club’s operations including at Bolton Stadium Hotel, around the stadium on match day and through its community engagement work.
Neil Hart, Chief Executive Officer of Bolton Wanderers said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Council and the police to deliver this important work.
“We want to play our part in stopping hate crime and through the training that has taken place, we can now confidently support those victims who report hate crime to our staff. We hope this, in addition to all the work we are engaged in through Bolton Wanderers in the Community, will be of great support to the wider community”.
Detective Superintendent Chris Bridge, the hate crime lead for GMP’s Bolton district, said: “Being targeted for who you are is wrong and won’t be tolerated by GMP.
“Although we encourage victims to report hate crimes to us and we are steadfast in our commitment to treating these reports seriously and the victims with empathy, we recognise that for many different reasons victims may not want to come directly to the police. This is why it’s important that we work with partners to ensure that there are third-party reporting centres, equipped with the correct training and support for those victims.
“The training our Bolton officers have provided to Bolton Wanderers is a really positive step. It gives victims the opportunity to report and seek support from a trusted source, as well as sending the message that as a community, we will not accept hate crime and we will come together to stamp it out.”
Bolton Council's Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Cllr Mudasir Dean, said: “Hate crime has no place in Bolton and the Council takes a zero-tolerance approach to those who seek to undermine community cohesion.
“The most effective way to tackle hate crime is to call it out and report it wherever it happens.
“Thanks to initiatives like this, there are more places than ever where victims can find the support, advice and reassurance they need.”
If you have been a victim of or witnessed a hate crime you can approach Bolton Wanderers stewards, hotel staff or a mentor from BWitC to report it.
You can also report it to Greater Manchester Police on '101' or visitwww.letsendhatecrime.comto report or receive help and support.