Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty
In May 2014, the ‘Tackling Hate Crimes and Incidents: A Framework for Action’, was launched which set out the Welsh Government’s commitment to challenge hostility and prejudice, with the aim to drive greater leadership and partnership work across Wales to challenge and tackle hate crimes. The Framework includes three objectives on prevention, support and improving the multi-agency response.
I Chair an Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime (IAG) to monitor the implementation and delivery of the Framework. One of the key tasks Members of the Group agreed to undertake, was to collect evidence from their stakeholders and communities on how effectively hate crime and incidents were being tackled in Wales and whether the Framework was having a positive impact. We have collated the evidence submitted by Members and I am pleased to be able to publish the report today.
The report clearly demonstrates the Framework is having a positive impact across Wales and the hard work and commitment from our partners and organisations across Wales is clearly evident. I am pleased there is a good understanding of what a hate crime is and the belief there is now more information available. Significant progress has been made in breaking down the barriers to reporting hate crimes. There is still more work to do, particularly amongst refugees and asylum seekers and improving the multi agency response. To support us in ensuring improvement, I will be using the evidence gathered in the report to shape our 'Hate Crimes and Incidents Framework - 2016-17 Delivery Plan’.
The evidence in the report is backed up by the 20% increase in the reporting of hate crimes in Wales in 2014-15, in comparison to 2013-14. This is a positive indicator and highlights victims are beginning to have greater confidence to report.
I am absolutely committed to ensuring all victims of hate crime receive comprehensive support. Wales continues to lead the way to ensure all victims of hate crime receive a quality service and I am want to ensure this continues.