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Merseyside Police Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, is working in partnership with LCR Pride Foundation, Stop Hate UK, Liverpool Nightlife CIC and other partners to create ‘safe spaces’ across the city, by supporting venues and training their staff.
Venues are being encouraged to apply to join the ‘You’re Safe Here’ scheme, which uses a simple badge to identify certified safe spaces. The mark aims to reassure the public that they are in a safe place and that staff will know what to do if they are a victim of hate crime or faced with abuse, intimidation or other unacceptable behaviour.
The launch of the scheme comes following a number of high-profile hate crimes that have been reported in the media over recent months, but it also equips venues to deal with an extensive range of scenarios, including awareness of sexual violence, unsafe drinking, grooming and student safety.
Venues whose staff have attended the short 1.5 hour training course will be able to display the ‘You’re Safe Here’ badge to show they have the knowledge to support those in need.
“While this scheme has been launched following a series of hate crimes against the LGBT+ community in the city, it is intended to provide safe spaces for all.
“It has been designed to be simple to understand and for ‘safe space’ venues to be easily recognisable. There are no codewords or complex processes, just effective training that will empower venues to recognise issues and respond effectively, while also giving customers the confidence to ask for help.
“The ‘You’re Safe Here’ training will ensure that venues and their teams know how to respond confidently and appropriately to any situation where a person may be at risk, from helping a person who has been the victim of a hate crime, to supporting someone who feels intimidated by another’s behaviour.
“We encourage as many venues as possible to sign up to the scheme, take the training and help to make our city a safer place.
The scheme follows a simple ‘first aid’ approach to offering support – from checking for immediate danger and risks, through to giving venues the training and resources to signpost an individual towards support services, reporting of crimes and advice lines. The sessions will also cover LGBT+ terminology and the importance of bystanders in tackling hate crime.
“Nobody should come to our region and face abuse, harassment or intimidation.
“Through the ‘You’re Safe Here’ scheme, our aim is to let everyone know there are places to go if you ever do feel scared or afraid, where staff will be on hand to help and will be trained to respond effectively.
“I would urge venues across the city to sign up for this free training – by doing so, you will be supporting your staff, while sending out a clear and powerful message that our city does not tolerate violence, bigotry or hatred.
“My thanks to everyone who has helped us to roll out this simple, effective scheme which will make our city safer for all.”
The training sessions have been designed with the support of partner agencies across the region, to ensure that attendees are given a wider knowledge of issues that may affect people in their venues. Through the sessions and follow-up work, venues will be put in touch to access further support and training from these partners.
The first training sessions will take place at the start of October, with the first venues to receive the ‘You’re Safe Here’ mark being announced shortly after. Venues are encouraged to make contact with LCR Pride Foundation if they wish to be in the scheme’s first cohort.
Further dates will be available across the next 12 months, funded by the Police Commissioner, with the scheme also being extended to cultural venues thanks to a partnership between LCR Pride Foundation, Homotopia and Culture Liverpool.
LCR Pride Foundation is also working to further extend the scheme across the Liverpool City Region and into a wider range of sectors, where businesses are looking to support their staff and customers.
To receive the mark, venues will need to send a number of staff, proportionate to the venue size and shift patterns, for the training.
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