Public Sector: Ipswich Town in anti-racism push

Suffolk County Council has teamed up with local Football League club Ipswich Town to crack down on racial prejudice and to promote its support services.

The county has seen a surge in racially motivated attacks, with 496 reported incidents last year, compared with 286 in the previous 12 months.

The campaign aims to encourage people who have suffered or witnessed harassment over racial, religious, cultural or skin-colour issues to call a freephone number, or to attend a counselling surgery run by the council's Racial Harassment Unit. It will run until late summer.

Council social inclusion comms manager John Ross said the increasing number of reported attacks is partly due to rising public awareness of the support services available if they report them.

'Reports of attacks tend to rise in districts that promote support services because people are confident in the system,' he said.

Posters are being displayed on buses and in public areas such as libraries, community centres and schools. Photocalls between councillors, including Kathy Pollard, and racial harrassment case officer Taz Hussain, and Ipswich players, such as Drissa Diallo, have also taken place.

A theatre workshop called 'mingle' is visiting secondary schools in the area, while a touring show called 'puppets against prejudice' is visiting primary schools.

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