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Thursday, 25 November 2010

More hate crime being reported in North Wales (UK)

 Nearly 1,800 race hate crimes have been reported to North Wales Police in the past five years – with young people the worst offenders.

In all the force has dealt with more than 2,100 hate crime complaints in that period, from racially aggravated physical attacks to homophobic taunts.

Children as young as 10 were involved in the hate offences.

North Wales Police revealed of the 1,775 racially aggravated crimes reported since 2005, 641 were committed by youngsters aged between 10 and 19.

A further 387 offences were committed by people aged between 20 and 29.

Hate crimes are broken down into five categories including race and the Welsh language, religion and belief, disability, sexual orientation and transgender. A hate crime is one motivated by the offender's hatred of people because they are seen as different.

A Gwynedd kebab shop owner, who asked not to be named, said he was more likely to be racially abused by young people than anyone else: “They have no respect towards other people or themselves.”

An Asian man said last night: “It’s not as bad as it can be in other parts of Britain but it can spoil a night out to be racially abused for simply walking down the street.”

Figures show the number of racially aggravated incidents reported in the Wrexham area increasing during the past three years. Last year 109 incidents were reported, up from 91 in 2008 and 88 in 2007.

The 484 incidents reported in the area over five years are the highest for the North Wales Police force area with Conwy recording 415 incidents and Gwynedd 379.

But Gillian Grainger, Community Cohesion Coordinator at Wrexham Council, put the rise down to the proactive approach to hate crime taken in the county.

She said: “Victims are encouraged to report incidences of hate crime and receive the necessary support and guidance they may need.

“The projects are all part of a multi agency approach we are taking in the county borough that are showing positive results."

A North Wales Police spokesman added: “We are committed to the promotion of equality and diversity within the force and within the communities it serves.

“We have designated Diversity Officers to help and support victims of hate crimes and incidents and ensure the Force Hate Crime Policy and Divisional Hate Crime Protocols are fully applied in all Hate Incidents and Hate Crimes.

“Strenuous efforts have been made in recent years to increase reassurance and the level of care to victims of hate crime generally.”

Daily Post