Hate crime: 'Still a daily reality for people in Wales'

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Four out of 10 hate crime victims in Wales know their abuser, while nearly a third think about moving house to escape the crime, says a new study.

Research by Race Equality First and Cardiff University also shows one in five of those abused (18%) considers leaving the country.

The study will feed into a new Welsh government plan to tackle incidents.

Hate crimes are offences against race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

Charity Race Equality First said hate crime was a "daily reality" for many.

More than 1,800 people were surveyed and 60 victims were interviewed in a three-year research project backed by Big Lottery funding.

Start Quote

The research also highlights which victim groups are more or less likely to be satisfied with the response of the criminal justice system to hate crimes”

End Quote Dr Matthew Williams Principal investigator

Those behind the research claim it is part of the biggest hate crime study ever carried out in Wales and England.

Principal investigator Dr Matthew Williams said they focused on understanding the nature and impact of hate crimes and incidents on different groups from various backgrounds.

"The research also highlights which victim groups are more or less likely to be satisfied with the response of the criminal justice system to hate crimes and garners opinions on what should be done with hate crime perpetrators," he said.

Nearly a third of victims who took part in the study said they were victimised at or near their home, while around a quarter were victimised in a public place.

Attacker

Two-thirds indicated they had been targeted by the same perpetrator multiple times, and a similar proportion said they were victimised by multiple abusers.

Those interviewed believed that hate crime was motivated by drink and drugs, hostility towards certain groups, and negative and stereotyped portrayals of minorities in the media.

HATE CRIME STATISTICS

  • From 2011 to 2012, 43,748 hate crimes were recorded by the police in Wales and England
  • 35,816 (82%) were race hate crimes
  • 1,621 (4%) were religion-related hate crimes
  • 4,252 (10%) were sexual orientation hate crimes
  • 1,744 (4%) were disability hate crimes
  • 315 (1%) were transgender hate crimes
  • Source: Home Office

The research, which is published ahead of hate crime awareness week next month, also shows:

  • Nearly a third (29%) of all victims think about moving away from their homes
  • Nearly one in five (18%) think about leaving Wales
  • More than four out of every 10 victims (43%) knew their attacker.

The all-Wales hate crime research will be launched by the Minister for Communities Jeff Cuthbert at the Senedd.

He said the Welsh government was committed to tackling the offence and was working on a framework for action.

This aims to deal with incidents in Wales and address abuse and attacks experienced by alternative subcultures - such as the way people dress.

Mr Cuthbert said: "The framework outlines how we want to work with partners across the three key areas of prevention, supporting victims and improving responses.

"This will ensure we focus on making a real difference to people in Wales."

Mr Cuthbert said consultation over the framework was open until 18 October and a final version of it would be launched in spring 2014.

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