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Sylvia Lancaster OBE, travelled to London to meet the MP Norman Baker whose role as Minister of State for Crime Prevention.

Sylvia and the charity’s campaign manager Kate Conboy-Greenwood were invited to a meeting with the Minister following the successful “Black Roses” listening event held at the House of Commons by MP Kerry McCarthy, MP held in March this year.

Mr Baker said he was aware of Sylvia’s work with the Police throughout the UK, and thanked her for her “positive work that’s making a difference”.

Sylvia spoke about how she was invited to work with GMP police following her key note speech as a member of the Cross Party Advisory Group on Hate Crime, at a Conference in 2012. She went on to explain how that had led to interest from the other Police Authorities that now monitor a sixth strand of hate crime; “alternative subcultures”.

A discussion was held around the issues of under-reporting of hate crime generally and how the charity works to encourage people to report hate incidents and crimes. Sylvia raised her concern that Judges can use their discretion when sentencing and she would like to see more consistent approach.

Kerry McCarty asked what progress could be made with other Police Authorities as she represents Bristol East. Mr Baker said he regularly meets with Senior Police Officers and Police and Crime Commissioners and he would talk to them about our work.

Sylvia and the Foundation’s work is recognised as an example of good practice and raising awareness of how hate crime covers more than the five monitored strands.

The Minister asked to see the evaluation of the Foundation’s Greater Manchester Police Hate Crime Awareness Training delivered to over 300 response officers.

Sylvia asked the Minister if he would like to speak at The Alternative Hate Crime Conference to be held in Burnley in November. The invite was warmly accepted as long as the diary permits.

Following the meeting Sylvia said; “it was a very positive meeting with Mr Baker and I’m happy that our work will be shared with other professionals in the field of hate crime. To have our work recognised as “best practice” is very encouraging”.