Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty
Following an Oral Statement I made on 4 November 2014 on ‘Hate Crime Awareness Week and Future Delivery’, I wish to update Assembly Members on the activities and impact of Hate Crime Awareness Week 2014 and to highlight plans for 2015.
I have published a Summary Report for Hate Crime Awareness Week 2014 which demonstrates the breadth and the range of work which took place across Wales. This was delivered through a small amount of funding awarded to Police and Crime Commissioners and clearly demonstrates how partnership working can be undertaken innovatively. I am pleased there was an increase in reporting across the month of Hate Crime Awareness Week through the National Hate Crime and Report Centre.
The Summary Report identifies work across the Welsh Government to produce a number of briefing sheets, case studies and on-line clips across protected characteristics. There are a number of on-line resources which are signposted in the report. Third Sector organisations continue to make a significant contribution to raising awareness, for example, organisations funded through our Equality and Inclusion Grant such as Stonewall Cymru, launched a victim booklet during the week and Welsh Refugee Council met with stakeholders to increase awareness of hate crime and to identify actions in collaboration with Victim Support Cymru.
The Summary Report highlights the range of activities which took place which included:
- Dyfed Powys Police launched a factsheet on Mate Crime during Hate Crime Awareness Week and provided training for Hate Crime Support Officers.
- Over 25 events took place throughout the Gwent Police Force area, including engagement at local colleges, roadshows using mobile stations and information sessions with community groups. This culminated in a conference called ‘Smashing the Barrier’ with Torfaen People First, which aimed to explore barriers for disabled people to report and how third party support can be enhanced.
- North Wales Police ran a radio feature was recorded bilingually and broadcast by local radio stations during the week. A poster was designed, printed and distributed throughout the region in public buildings, offices and public transport to increase awareness of disability hate crime.
- Across South Wales Police each Basic Command Unit (BCU) carried out awareness-raising events and community engagement exercises, as well as extensive social media coverage. This included roadshows in shopping centres, awareness sessions at local Colleges and Universities and work with community based organisations where Police Officers attended to raise awareness and increase engagement.
I intend to build upon the success of the week in 2015. I will shortly be writing to Police and Crime Commissioners to offer further funding for Hate Crime Awareness Week 2015, in order for them to undertake community engagement. I will also be hosting a national Cyber Hate and Bullying conference in collaboration with Cardiff University. This will be an action focussed conference to identify solutions. It will also play a key role in bringing greater understanding of the serious issue of on-line hate, which stakeholders have told me is the cause of significant concern within our communities.