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Community Safety

Bench dedication during Hate Crime Awareness Week

A new bench bearing tribute to homophobic murder victim Jody Dobrowski will be unveiled during a memorial ceremony at Clapham Common during Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Cllr Steve Reed, Lambeth council leader, will be joined by the police and community members for the dedication on Sunday, October 14.

Cllr Reed said: “Jody’s shocking and senseless murder seven years ago serves as a wakeup call for the whole community that all forms of hate crime are totally unacceptable.

“Lambeth council and the Safer Lambeth Partnership are working hard to tackle this issue as part of our Safer Communities campaign, and great strides in the fight against hate crime have already been achieved.”

Two men were jailed for life in 2006 for the Jody’s murder after he was beaten to death at the common in a homophobic attack on October 14, 2005.

The memorial bench was paid for using £1,000 raised by the community with the backing of hate crime charity 17-24-30.

Hate Crime Awareness Week from October 13 to October 19 will see events across the UK to promote services helping those who have been affected by hate crime.

PC Darren Sims from Northcote Ward SNT, which covers the western side of Clapham Common, said: “Through helping make Jody’s bench happen both Lambeth and Wandsworth Police are renewing calls for anyone who is a victim to or witnesses of any kind of hate crime to report incidents to us, in confidence.

“We are keen to work with victims, witnesses and the wider community to not only show our complete intolerance of any kind of hate crime, but to ensure those who commit acts of hatred receive the toughest sentences possible.”

Lambeth council’s Safer Communities campaign to highlight what we’re doing to make the borough a safer place.

The campaign will also show how we are giving people in the borough more control over the council’s work with the police to reduce crime and the fear of crime.

Lambeth council and the police are running targeted actions as part of the borough’s Hate Crime Action Plan to tackle the issues which include incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation.

Steps being taken to cut homophobia include working in partnerships with schools and Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, to address homophobic bullying in schools, and setting up third party reporting centres to enable victims to report hate crimes.

To report hate crime phone 101, in an emergency dial 999, or contact the Lambeth Council’s confidential lead Yvonne Okiyo at 0207 926 2796.

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