School pupils across Northumberland are invited to take part in a competition to promote awareness of hate crime.
The competition, Taking action against hate crime, is being launched as part of the National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which runs until Saturday.
Young people are asked to think about what a hate crime is and how it can affect victims then submit a song, poem or enact a scenario to explain what work has been done within school to help them learn about hate crime.
This competition is a joint venture between Northumbria Police and Northumberland County Council, whose staff regularly visit schools to educate youngsters about the issue and how to prevent peer abuse.
Schools have until October 31 to submit entries and the class of the winning entry will get a free visit to SafetyWorks! interactive education centre.
Superintendent Nicola Musgrove said: “Hate crime is an issue that affects people of all ages and it’s important that young people fully understand what it is and how they can seek help - if they need to.
“This competition will also help young people gain a more in-depth understanding of the issues and it will have a legacy of using the best entries to help educate others during school visits. School visits have been an extremely effective way of getting the important message across that targeting anyone because of who they are is not acceptable – this is a hate crime.”
Coun Robert Arckless, cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said: “No one should ever be victimised because they have a different faith, gender, sexuality, age or disability. This week is a good opportunity to help young people understand the issues of hate crime and to raise awareness of the range of services out there which can provide help.”