Seattle Starbucks to Become ‘Safe Space’ for Hate Crime Victims

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download (1)Starbucks chains in Seattle are working with local police to turn their shops into safe spaces for victims of LGBT specific hate crimes. Starbucks have provided training for 2000 staff members on the issue, and the Seattle Police department have begun giving rainbow coloured SPD stickers to stores who are able to offer their area as a safe space.

Jim Ritter, an openly gay police officer in Seattle became Seattle’s first liaison to the city’s LGBT community in 2014, and has recently been implementing an initiative to support members of the LGBT community following hate crimes and attacks. Working closely with Starbucks, Seattle Police have been issuing SPD Safe Space rainbow stickers for shops with appropriate training and means to deal with victims of hate crime. Staff members will contact the police immediately and stay with the victim on the premises until police arrive. Starbucks have also indicated that they would be interested in working with police elsewhere to make the scheme more widespread.

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