Welsh Government launching major anti-hate crime campaign
The Welsh Government is launching a major anti-hate crime campaign.
It is launching the drive to raise awareness and reporting of hate crime with ‘Hate Hurts Wales’, and adverts will initially be shared on TV and on digital and social media channels during the first burst throughout March 2021.
There are 5 key characteristics protected by hate crime laws, which are race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability.
The campaign uses hate crime scenarios to highlight each of the 5 protected characteristics, and these are based on actual prosecuted hate crimes identified working with the CPS.
It has been developed working with stakeholders and has been tested with people within the protected characteristic groups, other vulnerable groups such as migrants, and the general public.
Home Office statistics showed a 2 per cent increase in recorded hate crimes across Wales compared to 2018-19, which compares to an overall 8 per cent increase across Wales and England.
There were 4,023 recorded hate crimes across the four Welsh Police Force Areas of which 2,634, or 65 per cent, were race hate crimes, 763 or 19 per cent were sexual orientation hate crimes, 199 or 5 per cent were religion hate crimes, 453, or 11 per cent were disability hate crimes, and 132 or 10 per cent were transgender hate crimes.
Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt says the aim is highlight the need for everyone to stand together to support victims of hate crime and ensure incidents are reported to the police or Victim Support Cymru.
She said: “Unfortunately, recorded hate crime in Wales is all too common, across the four Welsh Police Force areas there were 4,023 recorded hate crimes in 2019-20.
“The campaign aims to make clear that hate affects us all and undermines our shared values of common humanity. It’s also important that we ensure that victims and bystanders feel empowered to report hate crime, wherever they see it.”
The Minister continued: “When we stand together, united as one community, we can make a real difference to tackling hate crime in our society. Over the coming weeks and months, the Welsh Government will shine a light on real life scenarios that individuals have experienced, through social media and on TV.
“When one community is targeted by bigotry we must do everything we can to challenge it. Whether it is racism, anti-Semitism, islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, anti-disability prejudice or any other form of hate, we must unite to demonstrate that Wales will not tolerate it.
“Hate and all forms of bigotry, has no home in Wales.”
Jess Rees, Wales Hate Crime Manager at the National Hate Crime Report and Support Centre Wales said: “Hate crime can have a particularly devastating impact on victims as it’s a very personal attack on part of their identity.
“Yet, it is hugely underreported as victims often fear they won’t be taken seriously or worry that the incident is ‘too trivial’ to report.
“We’re proud to support the ‘Hate Hurts Wales’ campaign and we welcome efforts to tackle hate crime in the community.
“From our experience, we’ve seen far too many victims seriously impacted, both emotionally and physically and it’s really important that people know hate crime is a serious offence.
“Whether or not people have reported an incident to the police, Victim Support is here to help victims affected by hate crime whenever they need it. No one should feel unsafe because of the scourge of hate crime.”