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Hate crimes across Gwent fell in 2023

THE TOTAL number of hate crimes across Gwent reduced in 2023 apart from those related to race. 

According to Gwent Police it recorded 1,409 hate crimes in 2023 which it says was an overall reduction of 4.4 per cent, or 65 fewer offences, than the previous year. 

But of those 1,409 reports 59.4 per cent were  made under the strand of hate crimes related to race which was a 10.1 per cent increase and a further 77 incidents on the previous year. 

The next highest percentage of hate crimes related to disability which accounted for 20 per cent of the total while there was a 28.6 per cent reduction in religious hate crimes which fell to 3.2 per cent of the total. 

The largest year on year reduction was of homophobic hate crimes that reduced by 37.6 per cent to 15 per cent of the total while the reports under the transphobic and gender identity strand reduced by 32 per cent to 4.3 per cent of the total. 

Chief Inspector Amanda Thomas told members of Monmouthshire County Council’s public services scrutiny committee the force’s equality and diversity manager has written a new five year strategy including processes on hate crimes and she is currently writing a delivery plan to look at what has and hasn’t worked. 

She said from her experience, as an operational police officer in the east of Gwent, where she said most hate crimes are reported, many are reported by the same people. 

“There are a number of repeat victims who do not want to provide statements and we need to understand why that’s the case? Is it they have no confidence? I assume that’s probably the case, and why don’t they have confidence in us?” 

She said she has gone to meet with mosque leaders and the equality and diversity team has also held meetings with LGBT youth groups and Asian women’s groups and the force aims to make people aware incidents can be reported to 999 when they take place or through 101 or a dedicated section on the force website. 

There is also advice on what does and doesn’t constituent a hate crime on the website. Hate crimes can be reported by victims, or a third party, but the chief inspector said in line with best practice guidance an officer will aim to speak with the victim. 

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Hate crime reports received by the force control room are tagged and discussed at daily meetings and followed up by neighbourhood officers. The force is also looking at again having dedicated hate crime support officers who can be a trained single point of contact for its neighbourhood teams.

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