Redbridge Victim Support urges residents to come forward

Hate crime in Redbridge meeting at Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford.

Hate crime in Redbridge meeting at Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford. - Credit: Rosaleen Fenton

Victims of hate crime in the borough will be supported, charities and police officers promised on Wednesday evening.

At the meeting at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, officers from Victim Support highlighted their services.

Rajvinder Kaur Digpal, an anti-social behaviour and hate crime caseworker, said members of the public shouldn’t be afraid to get in touch.

“We offer practical and emotional support to all victims of crime,” she said.

“We never pass anything on to the police without your consent.”

Speaking after the meeting, Rajvinder said she mainly supported victims of racially-aggravated hate crime in the borough.

“That is the most common,” she told the Recorder.

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“But everyone should know that the only criteria you need to get in touch with us are that you were a victim of crime.”

At the meeting, David Landau, senior caseworker at Redbridge Equalities and Community Council, highlighted that action can lead to change.

“It wasn’t that long ago that homosexuality was illegal,” he said.

“Between us, we can bring about change.

“We need the community to get involved.”

Matthew Walters, a committee member at Redbridge Rainbow Community, said the group has to stay active to enforce change.

He said: “We have to keep the action going.

“Otherwise we end up going backwards, so we have to keep talking and raising awareness.”

On the night, Pc Waseem Piracha, a Redbridge police officer from the Counter Terrorism Command, said he wanted to encourage free speech.

“I think it’s important that we keep talking,” he said.

“The way we can combat issues like this is to have open and frank discussion.”

Victim Support Redbridge has started running legal clinics with solicitors, held every Wednesday.

Residents can now book appointments to discuss a range of issues, including benefits, domestic violence and housing issues, by calling 020 8550 241.