Leicester criminologist to speak at hate crime event on 21 May
LEICESTER, 18-5-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Nearly eight years after her daughter was kicked to death for being a Goth, Sylvia Lancaster OBE is still campaigning to stamp out prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures.
Next week, at a public event funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), she will be in Leicester for the screening of Black Roses, a film about the killing of her daughter Sophie Lancaster.
The event is taking place on May 21 between 12.30-2.30pm and again 5.30-7.30pm at Phoenix Square.
Sophie was 20-years-old when she and her boyfriend Rob Maltby were attacked in a Lancashire park in 2007.
As a result of her severe head injuries Sophie never regained consciousness and died thirteen days later.
Following her death, Sylvia created a lasting legacy for her daughter by setting up The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
The film Black Roses intercuts Sylvia’s recollections of her daughter with first-person poetry written by English poet, playwright and novelist Simon Armitage.
It is the second time the film will have been shown in a cinema setting after being aired on BBC Two earlier this year.
After the screening, Sylvia will join a panel to discuss the topic of hate crime, along with PCC Sir Clive Loader, Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police Simon Cole and Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy from the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies.
Sylvia said: “I am proud to work in partnership with Leicester’s PCC and the police as they work to prevent and support victims of hate crimes. In 2015 we should be celebrating, not fearing difference. We welcome the opportunity to share Black Roses here in Leicester.”
At the event will also be representatives from local and national organisations and projects tackling hate crime, including Stamp It Out, Tell MAMA and Community Security Trust.
Sir Clive will also highlight his innovative new Victim First service, which provides specialist support to vulnerable people who become a victim of crime.
Supporting victims of hate crime and hate related anti-social behaviour is a key priority for Sir Clive, as set out in his Police and Crime Plan.
He said: “I am honoured to be supporting this event alongside The Sophie Lancaster Foundation and Leicestershire Police.
“It is so important that stories like Sophie’s are told so that people understand the devasting impact crimes like this have on people’s lives.
“I want to ensure that we support victims of hate crime and hate related anti-social behaviour. It is paramount that victims of this type of crime have the confidence to come forward and report it and I hope that my new Victim First service will help provide a better outcome for those that unfortunately become a victim or witness to a crime.”
Leicestershire Police Hate Crime Officer Darren Goddard has helped to organise the event.
He said: “Being targeted because of who you are or how you look unfortunately is still a reality for some people.
“Hate incidents and hate crimes impact not just on the lives of the victims but their family, their friends and our communities. Black Roses is a powerful moving film that gives Sophie a voice and I am really pleased that we are able to show it here in Leicester.
“Leicestershire Police takes all hate incidents and hate crimes seriously and I would encourage anyone who has been a victim to report it.
“By working together with our partners to tackle hate incidents and hate crimes we send a really clear message that there is no place for hate in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”
To book a free place at one of the two screenings email Darren at firstname.lastname@example.org
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