Hate crime of any kind will not be tolerated in Gwent and any incidents should be reported directly to the police.
That is the message from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent and Gwent Police following the appalling terrorist attacks in New Zealand.
Jeff Cuthbert said: “This is an appalling public attack, which has sent shock waves around the world.
“Today we must stand together in solidarity to remember all those who lost their lives in this hateful, abhorrent terrorist attack.
“We all have a responsibility to teach people that hate abuse is wrong from a young age and stand up against vicious extremism in all its forms.
“I want to express my deepest sympathies to all the families and friends of those who have been killed or injured in this tragedy and express solidarity with the Islamic community and the wider New Zealand population too.
“Our hearts go out to all those affected by the horrific incidents in Christchurch.”
Anyone in Gwent who has been the subject of a hate incident or crime – whether that’s verbal, physical or online – is urged to report it directly to Gwent Police.
You may be a victim of hate crime because you are:
- Religious (or not)
- Lesbian, gay or bisexual (or not)
- From a different country, of a different ethnic origin, or have a different skin colour
Hate incidents and crimes can include:
- Physical attacks
- Written or verbal insults
- Threatening behaviour
Jeff Cuthbert continued: “We are doing a lot of work to improve community cohesion and to tackle the problems of radicalisation of whatever nature and hate. It’s critically important that we take steps to identify those that are in danger of being radicalised and work collectively to alter attitudes. We also need to identify those driving the radicalisation and work together to prevent it.
“However, the fact remains that targeting anyone because of your own prejudices is unacceptable in the 21st century. The full breadth of forms hate crime can take is devastating to victims and can leave physical and emotional damage for years following the incident.
“It is a horrible, complex offence that can negatively impact on and divide communities, and increase fear. We must all take a stand against it.”
Gwent Police treats any report of hate crime seriously. Abuse or violence against individuals or groups because of who they are, whether physical or verbal, is a criminal offence.
In an emergency, call 999. You can also report hate crime in confidence if you prefer to Victim Support on www.reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk or 0300 303 1982.