It’s a real honour to still be working with, and supporting, the dedicated team that delivers Bolton Pride, which is now in its 5th year!
I was the Police hate crime lead for Bolton in 2015, when James first approached me, with his vision of bringing diverse communities together, to tackle all strands of hate crime in our borough. Many of the issues that our communities were experiencing at that time, still exist today unfortunately.
Events over the past year have sometimes polarised people’s opinions across the UK and that has often lead to members of certain communities being abused online, or even in the street because of the way they dress, their ethnicity, their sexuality or their gender, which is totally unacceptable.
Hate crime is still a top priority for Greater Manchester Police and I know from working with the Bolton District Commander – Supt Rick Jackson (who is the new Force Hate Crime lead) – that hate crime is something that he is passionate about tackling too.
The Police understand that they cannot tackle hate crime alone and that they need to work with partners in Community Safety but also with local charities, volunteer groups and residents. This is why Bolton Pride has been so successful in its aims of raising awareness and providing support, because it is a true partnership approach.
The highlight of the weekend is the Pride parade, which I would encourage anyone to sign up for. It’s a great carnival atmosphere that brings people from all backgrounds together. It really shows the town that there is support out there for anyone who may be struggling in silence or want to get involved in doing something positive to tackle hate crime in their community.
I’d like to thank James, and the wider Bolton Pride team, for continuing to give up their own time to deliver a truly inclusive Pride to our proud Northern town.