Free Hate Crimes Awareness BBQ set for Wednesday – everyone welcome

The Lethbridge Regional Police Service is joining other communities and agencies throughout Alberta in celebrating Hate Crime Awareness Day on April 22.

 Police, in partnership with the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee (AHCC) and OUTreach Southern Alberta, are hosting a free community BBQ Wednesday at 5 p.m. at CASA. All are welcome to attend.

The Lethbridge Regional Police Service is committed to providing safe communities for all of our citizens and believes everyone has the right to be who they are. LRPS stands against hatred, intolerance and discrimination and we’re asking you to join us.

The Alberta Hate Crimes Committee defines a hate crime as any criminal offence committed against a person or property, which is motivated in whole or in part by the suspect’s hate, prejudice, or bias against an individual or identifiable group based on real or perceived race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor.  A hate incident is described as any act motivated by hate or bias that is non-criminal but could cause serious harm to individuals and communities or lead to violent behaviour. Hate incidents can include bullying, uttering racial or homophobic slurs, name-calling, racist or offensive emails, jokes and other prejudicial acts.

Hate crimes are under-reported – generally only one in 10 is brought to police attention – so it’s important for the community to know the Police Services takes all reports seriously and will investigate fully. As a society we all have a responsibility to speak out against hate crime.

The AHCC was formed in 2002 to develop a province-wide framework to support a collaborative, integrated approach to prevent, enforce and respond to hate and bias-motivated activities in Alberta. AHCC brings together law enforcement, government, non-profit, community and university stakeholders. Through this collaboration the goal is to make Alberta a hate-free province.

OUTreach Southern Alberta responds to the needs of the local and the broader lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, and queer (LGBTTQ) community of Lethbridge and the surrounding area by supplying resources, education and opportunities to foster self-determination, civic engagement and community participation.