PCC Welcomes Hate Crime Framework

Gwent PCC Ian Johnston believes the new 'Tackling Hate Crimes and Incidents' action framework launched in Cardiff this week will add considerable value to the work of Gwent Police and its other partners in the community.

The new framework was launched by Jeff Cuthbert AM, the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty. It includes the establishment of a new Hate Crime Criminal Justice Board Cymru (HCCJBC) for Wales which aims to transform perceptions of the way hate crime is dealt with and to make it easier for victims of hate crime to come forward. The new framework also includes a brand new 24-hour helpline and website www.reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk for victims run by Victim Support, which covers all aspects of hate crime.

Highlighting this as a significant step forward in improving the quality of service for victims of hate crime, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "This new framework will add considerable value to the work of Gwent Police and its partners in protecting people from serious harm and will improve the quality of service available to victims of hate crime in Gwent.

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. We don't want victims to suffer in silence and that's why support from frameworks such as this one is vital.

What's important is that people in Gwent to have the confidence to report these crimes and are assured that they are dealt with in the appropriate manner. This is why I launched my Victims' Charter last year which puts victims at the heart of everything we do and outlines the minimum standards victims can expect when they are involved in the Criminal Justice process here in Gwent."

Welcoming the news, Supt Mark Warrender, the Hate Crime Lead for Gwent Police Force, said: "We know that incidents and crimes that are motivated by hostility or prejudice cause a great deal of distress to their victims, their family and friends, and to the wider community. Gwent Police will not tolerate hate crime and is committed to tackling such incidents when they are reported. We know that we still don't have a true idea of the volume of hate incidents that occur within Wales as many victims will not report what has happened, and are excited to be working with Victim Support as they launch their new Third Party Hate Crime Reporting service across Wales. We hope that this makes a big difference to the numbers of incidents that we are able to deal with.

Gwent Police has undertaken a range of initiatives to raise awareness of both our officers and our communities around hate incidents and crime, including awareness training for staff; working with community groups to ensure improved access to our services and introducing a dedicated team to assist both investigating officers and victims of hate crime to ensure that they receive the best possible and most appropriate service and support. We are delighted to have supported the development of the Welsh Government's Hate Crime Framework and are working as part of the All Wales Criminal Justice Board to carry this work forward over the coming months."

You can report a hate crime to Victim Support directly 24/7 through the new helpline on 08456 121 900.

If you are in immediate danger call the Police by dialling 999 (non-emergencies 101).

For further information about services available for victims of Hate Crime in Gwent please contact Gwent Police Force's Community Cohesion Team on 01633 247907.