October 16th – 22nd marks Hate Crime Awareness Week, an opportunity for individuals and organisations to explain what is classed as a hate crime and to encourage communities to come together to tackle hate crime.
A hate crime is a crime targeted at someone because of a protected characteristic which they have – race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. The actual crime could be anything, from burglary and scams, to assault or criminal damage, but becomes a hate crime because the individual believes they have been targeted due to one of their characteristics.
Each year an awareness campaign takes place to educate people on what a hate crime is and how important it is to report them to the police. The campaigns also call on communities to come together to tackle discrimination and improve community cohesion. The theme of this year’s Hate Crime Awareness Week is faith hate crime and antisemitism.
Member of the Senedd for Delyn, Hannah Blythyn, is joining with this year’s campaign by calling on communities in her constituency to play their part in tackling hate crime.
Speaking in the Senedd this week Hannah said:
“With the most horrific events unfolding in the middle east, it is more important than ever that we remain committed to tackling all forms of religious-based hate crime. Ministers are in contact with representatives of Jewish communities and Muslim communities here in Wales to ensure we can support those communities at this incredibly distressing time. We are clear that the Welsh Government stands firmly against any form of antisemitism, Islamaphobia and all faith-based hate crime.
Let us use this opportunity to send a clear message that hateful abuse and violence should not and will not be tolerated in Wales. And let’s all take both individual and collective responsibility for playing our own part in putting out, rather than fanning, the flames of hate.”
Hate crimes can be reported to North Wales Police in a number of different ways including calling 101 or 999 in an emergency, or through their online reporting form. They can also be reported anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visiting their website.
The Welsh Government’s consultation on the LGBTQ+ Action Plan is open until October 22 and can be found at https://gov.wales/lgbtq-action-plan
Ms Blythyn is keen to hear of any experiences of hate crime in her constituency and is encouraging constituents to share them with her at Hannah.Blythyn@senedd.wales.