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Merseyside Police message for communities following Manchester attack

Merseyside / May 25

Merseyside Police is appealing for communities to come together and support each other following the attack at the Manchester Arena on Monday night.

Following similar incidents in the UK police forces across the country will sometimes see a rise in hate crimes and we want to ensure that all our communities continue to support each other during these challenging times.

The appeal comes following an incident on Merseyside this week which occurred following the attack in Manchester.

Ryan Burgess, 22, from Kendal Drive, St Helens has been arrested and charged with using racially aggravated words under Section 4 of the Public Order Act and using threatening/abusive, insulting words or behaviour under the Public Order Act after an offensive tweet was posted on Twitter. He has been released on bail to appear at Liverpool Magistrates Court on 13 June 2017.

Inspector John Sacker, from Merseyside Police's Community Engagement team said: "It is important for people to remember that hate crime offences can take many forms. We will not tolerate any form of hate crime whether it is committed online or in person, and whether it involves words or physical violence.

"I am sure members of the local community would agree that this type of behaviour has no place in Merseyside, and we will be proactive in dealing with it and supporting victims.

"We are aware that following incidents such as the attack in Manchester on Monday that there can be an increase in hate crimes within our communities. But there can never be any excuse for hate crime in any shape or form and incidents such as this will not be tolerated.

"Terrorists want to create discord in our communities, but Merseyside has a long history of our communities living and working together. This is a time for us all to work closely together and unite against those who seek, through violence and extremism, to divide us.

"The force will take action against any criminal behaviour which seeks to undermine our communities and puts people at risk, especially where those crimes are motivated by hate.

"In these uncertain and challenging times we want to ensure that those who are victims of hate crime feel confident in the belief that we will take al reports seriously and we will support victims throughout the Criminal Justice process.

"If you are a witness, or a victim of hate crime, please call us. Specialist staff deal with these incidents as it is vital we give the proper support to victims, take effective action against those responsible for hate crime and build trust with those who consider themselves vulnerable to such crimes.

"I'd also like to remind people, we have a number of third party reporting centres across Merseyside, such as fire stations, citizen advice bureaus and hospitals. This enables those people who feel more comfortable with discussing their issues with an independent party to come forward.

"Don’t suffer in silence; there are people who can help you."

Anyone with information on this incident, or anyone who has been victim of a hate crime, is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also call national charity Stop Hate UK, who the Commissioner has funded to provide an independent 24/7 reporting line for all forms of hate crime on 0800 138 1625.