Welwyn Garden City business leads the way in helping victims of hate crime

PUBLISHED: 19:24 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 19:24 17 November 2017

PC Irfan Ishaq, Kayleigh Locke, Ali Ekram and Bernice Finken. 
Kayleigh and Bernice are student social workers in the Adult Disability team at Hertfordshire County Council.
Picture: Herts Police

PC Irfan Ishaq, Kayleigh Locke, Ali Ekram and Bernice Finken. Kayleigh and Bernice are student social workers in the Adult Disability team at Hertfordshire County Council. Picture: Herts Police

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A business in Welwyn Garden City is trialling a new scheme to provide a safe place for disabled people who have been the victim of hate crime.

Marshall Volvo is providing a ‘Safe Haven’ for hate crime victims with physical disabilities where they can stop and recover, while they decide what to do next.

The dealership, in Great North Road, takes part in the Motability scheme and supplies a large number of modified vehicles for customers with disabilities.

Ali Ekram, general manager at Marshall Volvo, said: “It feels exciting that we’re the first organisation in Hertfordshire to get involved with this scheme.

“Helping the community is important to us and I’m proud of our staff who are looking forward to being there and being supportive.

“We’re open seven days a week and our staff will be here to welcome and look after anybody who needs a safe haven.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary hate crime officer PC Irfan Ishaq said: “Hate crimes can have a devastating impact and leave victims feeling upset, hurt or confused.

“This scheme means that a disabled person who has suffered a hate crime and is scared or unsure about what to do next, can go to the dealership.

“Staff will invite them in, reassure them if necessary and can contact the police or other agency, should the person wish.”

A hate crime is any criminal offence that is targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

If your business would like to provide a similar facility for victims of hate crime, contact PC Ishaq at Irfan.ishaq@herts.pnn.police.uk.

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