Welsh forces come together to support Hate Crime Awareness Week
The campaign has a simple message, “Hate Crime is wrong: Report It”.
All four Welsh police forces will today launch their campaign in support of Hate Crime Awareness Week, which aims to increase awareness about hate crime, encourage hate crime reporting and send a clear message that action will be taken against those who commit these insensitive crimes.
This year’s Hate Crime Awareness Week campaign has a simple message, “Hate Crime is wrong: Report It”.
A hate crime is any crime that targets a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person due to their disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
“Tackling hate crime is a challenge for everyone in South Wales – not just for the police,” said Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Alun Michael: “We all have the responsibility to challenge prejudice and insist that our communities live up to the best standards of our traditions of tolerance and solidarity.
“At the heart of the Police and Crime Plan and the priorities for me and the Chief Constable is to ensure that all victims have the confidence to report hate crimes and to take action so that repeat attacks are driven out – and it’s to the credit of our local police that our figures are going in the right direction, with an increase in reporting. We have plenty to celebrate in the diversity of our communities in South Wales and it’s important for communities to come together to insist on equal treatment for everyone.
“We’re very pleased to see leadership being given by Welsh Government and we welcome the funds that Ministers have provided to deliver community activities to help improve the level and confidence of reporting. To beat hate crime we must all care for each other and by doing so ensure South Wales has a society that encourages equal treatment of everyone. Remember, hate crime is wrong, report it!”
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “Hate crime has always been a priority for South Wales Police. Every day officers work with the community and local groups to ensure that the rights of people, regardless of their circumstances are always upheld. Following our campaign last year, there has been an increase in the number of people reporting hate crimes across South Wales. The campaign achieved its goal of educating those about how to report and reminding people that hate crime is always wrong.
“While reporting is up, the reports still don’t reflect the full picture. There are a number of reasons why this type of crime goes unreported – fear of reprisals, lack of confidence or lack of understanding that a crime has been committed. We encourage people, whether they are a victim or a witness of hate crime, to report it,” said Mr Lewis.
“We take hate crime very seriously. We have specially trained officers to provide support and guidance to those affected by hate crime and we will prosecute those who commit these insensitive offences which cause both physical and mental harm.”
This year’s campaign will reinforce the message from last year, while targeting those who commit offences and reminding them about the nasty consequences of their actions. South Wales Police officers have been working with a range of partners to encourage victims to report hate crime. Victims or those that witness a hate crime can report anonymously through Victim Support or True Vision. To report an offence directly to South Wales Police call 101 – or in an emergency 999.