October 9 – 16 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.
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 during Hate Crime Awareness Week Ms Blythyn said:
“It is important we all play our part in tackling discrimination and hate crimes, by calling out unacceptable behaviours and reporting any crimes to the police.
The Welsh Government is committed to making Wales a safe space for everyone and I’m proud to be taking forward work consulting on how we can be the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe. I’ve already heard some awful stories of how people face abuse due to their sexuality or the colour of their skin, which have made me even more committed to taking action.”
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.