Greater Manchester Police have urged the gay community to make use of facilities to report hate crimes.

Bury Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Jon Rush officially re-launched 20 Hate Crime Reporting Centres at locations across the borough on Monday.

The centres are located in public buildings such as community centres and council offices and are designed to provide an informal place for people who may not want to visit a police station, to report incidents they have experienced or concerns they have.

The division is planning to spend thousands of pounds modernising the computer systems in some of the centres and providing staff with up-to-date training to enable them to deal with the sensitive nature of their role.

The centres cater for a diverse range of groups including disabled people, ethnic minorities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Chief Superintendent Rush said:

“There are some people who may not feel comfortable or able to go into a police station for a variety of reasons.

“Therefore, the ability to go into a building such as a community centre to speak to someone may provide a much more relaxed environment for them to report any incidents or concerns they may have with regards hate crime.

“The centres are a great example of how the police can work in partnership with the local community and I am sure they will help us achieve our aim of increasing the reporting of hate crime in Bury and assist us with both the prevention and detection of such crime.”