DYFED-POWYS Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has commissioned theatre company, Mewn Cymeriad to produce a short play for year 8 pupils in Secondary Schools, to raise awareness of hate crime, that is to be launched as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week this October.

Following receiving the funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, Mewn Cymeriad have been working with renowned author and playwright Manon Steffan Ros to write a Welsh and English one man play, that will tour secondary schools from 11th of October onwards.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn said; “Experiencing hate crime can be a particularly frightening experience, especially for young people, and it should not be tolerated.  By commissioning this work, it will no doubt encourage discussions around the various forms of hate crime that affect young people, and how they can often escalate to further crimes or tension.

“Now more than ever it’s important for us all to understand more about Hate Crime and the impact it has on victims, their families and our communities. It is key to continue conversations in our communities about where hate crime is coming from and how we can all play a part in tackling it and reporting what we see.

“This work will hopefully educate young people about their responsibilities as young citizens and provide them with the knowledge and skills to help challenge the attitudes and behaviours that lead to hate crime.”

Eleri Twynog, Artistic Director at Mewn Cymeriad said; “Hate crime can be so detrimental to young victims affecting their education, confidence and well-being. We as a company are proud of this new partnership with Dyfed Powys Police and author Manon Steffan Ros to present a topic of great relevance to the world today.  It is hoped that the work will encourage further discussion and help raise awareness and understanding of the effects of hate crime within our communities.”

The production will see actor, Morgan Llywelyn Jones, play the role of three different people – the perpetrator, the one who ignores the crime, and the victim.

Dyfed-Powys School Police Officer Team will be supporting each performance with the aim of encouraging an open discussion around the topic.

Dyfed-Powys Police Schools Programme Manager, Bethan James, said; “One of the most effective methods to prevent hate crime is to educate children as early as possible that there is nothing wrong with being different and that hate crime – perhaps calling someone names because they have a different skin colour – is always wrong.

“Schools in partnership with the Wales Police Schools Programme are already delivering sessions to children focusing on celebrating differences and reminding children to consider the feelings of others.

“Based on research we know that many children and young people engage and learn more effectively to an artistic performance that deals with a story and with emotions, rather than being taught solely within a classroom scenario. We believe that this project will further support the work carried out by the School Police Officer team by reaching those children who prefer a more hands on learning experience. This in turn will lead to more confident individuals and to a more tolerant and supportive community both inside and outside of schools.

The production will launch on 11th of October in Ysgol Gyfun y Strade as part of Hate Crime Awareness week, and will visit other secondary schools in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire during the week.

If any schools are interested to book, they can contact Mewn Cymeriad directly via email: gwyb@mewncymeriad.cymru.