Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael and Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan today called on the public in cities, towns and villages across the force area to work with police officers to raise awareness, report incidents and set high standards of tolerance and mutual respect within the diverse communities of South Wales.
Last year, South Wales Police received over 1,000 reports of hate crime with over 62,000 reports received nationally. A hate crime is defined as any crime motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity. To tackle this issue and reassure the public, a new campaign has been launched by South Wales Police on International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (Thursday 17th May 2018).
Dealing with reports of hate crime is a priority, providing a resilient and robust service to those reporting crime is a fundamental principle of all Police Forces. International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is a worldwide event that embraces sexuality and gender diversity. The day was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by the LGBT community. Over 20% of all reports of hate crime reports received by South Wales Police were against our LGBT community – the campaign focuses on building trust and confidence within our communities, enabling people to be heard and stand up to hate by reporting their experiences.
Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said:
“Hate crime comes from prejudice and discrimination, which has no place within our communities. South Wales Police are committed to providing swift and positive action against anyone committing this type of crime. From information provided by our partners, there is a belief that some people do not choose to report this crime to police, only through reporting can we be made aware and take action. Our new campaign asks those who have been a victim of hate crime to stand up and be heard.
“Within South Wales Police, officers and staff receive extensive training on engaging with members of our communities and hate crime. We are committed to providing the best service possible and keeping South Wales safe.
“If you think you have been a victim of hate crime we want to hear from you.”
Alun Michael, Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“Protecting the vulnerable is a key priority within our joint Police & Crime Plan and this can only be achieved by working with our partners and our communities to develop a true understanding of issues which in turn enables us to focus on early intervention and prompt, positive action.
“It is clear that victims of hate crime can sometimes be reluctant to report incidents but we want them to know, beyond doubt, that South Wales Police is absolutely committed to tackling these issues and providing them with the support they need, when they need it. The South Wales area is richer for its diversity and with the trust and confidence of all of our communities, we are better equipped to tackle hate crime; therefore this new campaign has a simple call to action – be heard and stand up to hate.
“Only by working together can we tackle this issue – reporting is the first and most critical step, once the police are aware we can and will take action.”
Reports of crime can be made to the police in a number of ways. In an emergency, always dial 999. For non-emergency reports, call 101. There are also a number of online report services through Victim Support Wales, True Vision and CrimeStoppers.