Joining Forces for Hate Crime Awareness Week

During National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2015 (10th - 17th October), Gwent Police and Gwent PCC Ian Johnston will join other Commissioners and Police Forces in Wales, the Welsh Government and Victim Support in running a range of local and national initiatives to raise awareness about hate crime and to encourage more people to report them.

Throughout the week there will be a focus on each type of hate crime - religion, disability, sexual orientation, and race and gender identity. The campaign will be supported by messages from a dedicated Twitter account @HateCrimeCymru which will signpost to information, support and resources throughout the week using the hashtags #ThinkForMyself, #MakeHateHistory, #HCAWCymru15, #HateCrime and #SeeItHearItReportIt

In addition, Victim Support Cymru received funding from the four Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales to run a non-stop Hate Crime Roadshow around Wales this week aimed at informing residents what hate crime is; how they can report it and what support they are able to receive.

The Victim Support Hate Crime Team in Wales will be travelling in a marked Hate Crime Vehicle, and setting up a temporary stall for a minimum of 20 minutes per town, village or hamlet along the route. This will be an opportunity for the public to engage with the team who provide support to victims of hate. The Roadshow starts in Mamhilad, Monmouthshire, on Saturday 10th October and will make its way around Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent before moving on to other parts of Wales.

At the end of the week (Friday October 16th), Gwent Police will also be hosting a specific Disability Hate Crime event in Cwmbran which has been arranged using funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner secured from the Welsh Government and will include workshops on hate crime, an interactive drama production and a closing speech from a special guest.

Gwent Police Hate Crime Lead, Superintendent Mark Warrender, said: "Hate crimes are under reported for a number of reasons. This week we are highlighting what a hate crime is and encouraging people to report hate crimes to us: whether it be verbal abuse, offensive graffiti, threats, damage to property, assault, cyber bullying, abusive texts, emails or phone calls. It is important possible victims know what we are doing about hate crimes and the support we and our partners can offer.

Gwent Police has a zero tolerance approach to hate crime: it can destroy lives; instil fear and break down the fabric of communities and neighbourhoods. Hate crime can affect anyone and, if not tackled, can lead to the isolation and victimisation of individuals and vulnerable groups along with the polarisation of communities.

In May this year, Gwent PCC Ian Johnston officially launched Connect Gwent, a new multi-agency support service for all victims of crime which is based in Blackwood. As an integral part of its provision, the service now houses a Home Office funded Victim Support Hate Crime Caseworker.

Highlighting the importance of raising awareness, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "We don't want victims to suffer in silence and that's why it's vital that we work with our communities to raise awareness about hate crimes and highlight that there is support for them and that there are consequences for the perpetrators. Whether it's hate crime to do with race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender or age, there should be no room for these crimes in 21st century society and it's important that people report these incidents so they can be dealt with properly.

The provision of a specific Victim Support Hate Crime Caseworker based within Connect Gwent is an important step forward in our commitment to supporting local victims of Hate Crime and we hope that as a result of launching Connect Gwent, more people will be encouraged to report their experiences."
In an emergency call 999 or you can report hate crime confidentially to Connect Gwent at www.connectgwent.org.uk or call 0300 123 21 33


NOTES TO EDITORS:


The latest figures for Hate Crime for Gwent Police area are:

                      Disability      Homophobic      Racial     Religious    Transphobic

2013/14                11             28                        183                10              5

2014/15                19             31                        209                 2               4