THE mother of a murdered East Lancashire woman has spoken to top police officers from across the country as part of a campaign to tackle violent attacks.
Sylvia Lancaster, mum of murdered Sophie, was invited to speak at the national Superintendents’ Conference.
She spoke about the work she has done since setting up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, in memory of her Haslingden High School pupil daughter, who was brutally murdered in a park in Bacup.
The 20-year-old was attacked in 2007 and, in 2009, the charity was set up in her name.
Following Sylvia’s presentation, at the National Association of Chief Police Officers conference, in March, she was invited by Superintendent Paul Symes, of Gwent Police, to be a key note speaker at their conference last week.
Sylvia spoke about the charity’s aims to create a lasting legacy to Sophie, provide educational group-works that will challenge prejudice and intolerance, and to campaign to have UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include people from “alternative subcultures” or “lifestyle and dress”.
Superintendent Gary Ashton, of Northamptonshire Police, said: “The presentation was moving and inspirational. The senselessness, and tragedy, of Sophie’s attack, and death, must be all consuming.
“To find the strength to build something so positive for the future, and bring hope to others, is an inspiration.”
Sylvia said: “The warmth with which we were received at the conference was quite overwhelming, and the many offers of follow-up work with the various individual police authorities will be hugely beneficial to us all.”