A SERIES of street theatre performances are being used to encourage residents in the Malvern Hills district not to stay silent on hate crime.
Actors will interact with members of the public using mime and chalkboards to explore the various types of hate crime and the impact it has on victims.
Another part of the performances will involve monologues based on real life stories from people in the local area who have experienced hate crime and members of the public will then be encouraged to offer advice.
Finally, performers will be asking ‘Where can I report a hate crime?’ as a way of raising awareness about the different reporting methods available.
Performances take place at Malvern Hills Retail Park, off Roman Way, on Monday.
South Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership (SWCSP) has asked professional drama practitioner Zoe Haworth to stage the street theatre events as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Coun Bronwen Behan, portfolio holder with responsibility for community safety on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “Being you is not a crime and we hope these street performances will help people understand more about hate crime and give them the confidence to speak out and report it.”
Hate crime is any criminal offence that is believed to have been carried out due to someone’s hostility towards a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, transgender or an individual characteristic that makes them appear different.
It can include anything from physical attacks and damage to property to abusive telephone calls and anti-social behaviour.
There were 55 reports of hate crime across Malvern Hills district in the last year.
However, the true level of hate crime in the area is likely to be higher as offences are often not reported.
Across the UK three out of every five hate crime offences are never reported to police.
It is hoped the street theatre performances will help people recognise what hate crime is and encourage them to tell police.
Kevin Purcell, South Worcestershire Superintendent for West Mercia Police, said: “Nobody should have to tolerate hate crime because of who they are or where they come from and so it is important our communities have the confidence to come to police and report hate crimes or incidents.
“Tackling hate crime is a priority for us and we will act and investigate all reports.”
People can report hate crime by calling the police on 101, visiting www.report-it.org.uk or popping into a police station.