St Helens Hate Crime Ambassadors
Introducing Al Russo...
I am Al Russo, the East Area Hate Crime Co-ordinator for Merseyside Police. I deal with hate crimes and hate incidents in the Knowsley and St Helens areas of Merseyside.
The St Helens Hate Crime Ambassadors Scheme
The scheme was developed to enable local councillors to support potential hate crime victims and witnesses in seeking support or reporting crimes, when they might not otherwise have had the confidence to do so. Local councillors are trusted and highly valued in their respective wards. This scheme allows the councillors to function as a conduit between the community and the Police and other agencies for the flow of information. Once a local councillor has attended the training they will be recognised as a certified Hate Crime Ambassador, and will wear a badge or display a certificate in their surgeries to demonstrate that they are trained to provide hate crime support.
What is a hate crime?
A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion. It doesn't always include physical violence. Someone using offensive language towards you in person or online, because of who you are, or who they perceive you to be, is also a crime.
What is a hate incident?
A hate incident is any non-crime incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity or perceived disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.
When it happens, many may be tempted to shrug it off. But if you tell me, I can investigate and stop it from getting worse.
Reporting a hate crime or incident to me - what you need to know
You can contact me directly by email or telephone:
- Email: AI.Russo@Merseyside.police.uk
- Telephone: 0151 777 6759
- All contact with me is private and confidential
- I will respond to ALL enquiries within 48 hours of receipt - (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm)
- If for any reason I am not available, for example if I am on annual leave/ sickness leave, then Merseyside Police will assign another police officer to manage any notifications sent in to us.
What details do I need to provide?
I will need you to provide the following information.
- Full name of the person reporting (victim or witness)
- The person's email address
- The person's phone number
- Brief details of the incident
What happens after you have reported an incident?
- The person will be contacted by me, or a colleague from Merseyside Police, within 48 hours
- I will arrange to meet with the person to discuss their concerns at a time and place that is convenient to them
- The report will immediately be logged and saved securely by Merseyside Police