A PANEL of experts debated hate crime and the impact of police cuts in Sussex on tackling the problem locally.
The question and answer session took place at the White Rock Hotel last Thursday (March 15).
The panel was chaired by Labour parliamentary candidate Sarah Owen and included Marc Turczanski, Hastings’ hate crime officer, Colin Fitzgerald, from domestic violence charity Respect, and Chris Bryant MP from the Shadow Home Office team.
Members of the public were invited to join the debate and put forward their experiences of how best to tackle hate crime.
Also represented were Hastings and Rother Rainbow Alliance, Women’s Voice, Hastings Intercultural Organisation, and the Disability Forum.
Sarah Owen said: “Hearing about the destruction that hate crime and domestic violence can ravage on communities makes me even more determined that front-line neighbourhood policing in Hastings & Rye is protected from the planned cuts to Sussex Police.”
Colin Fitzgerald added: “I work for a domestic violence charity running groups for men who have been violent in their relationships.
“I know from experience how essential it is to work in partnership with the police to ensure the safety of victims as part of a co-ordinated community response to domestic violence.
“This can only happen if the police are properly resourced.”