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Raising awareness of hate crime on a local pitch

Players and fans will show their support to Hate Crime Awareness Week during a football match held in Aberystwyth.

On Friday 14 October 2022, Aberystwyth Town Football Club will take on Haverfordwest County in a Cymru Premier League game with kick-off at 8pm.

The Mid and South West Wales Community Cohesion Team have teamed up with The Wales Hate Support Centre at Victim Support to offer an engagement at the game for supporters.

The event will feature an official announcement before kick-off, a pitch side banner raising awareness of HCAW 2022, an information stand in the club house before kick-off and during half time. In addition to this, support and information will be available from Victim Support and the Cohesion Team, as well as a pledge wall where players, match officials and supporters will be encouraged to leave their messages promising to be allies with victims of Hate Crime and to never tolerate racism or hate in sport.

This is one of several initiatives and events promoting and supporting Hate Crime Awareness Week, and the engagement event is supported by several partner agencies including Aberystwyth Town FC, Aberystwyth Town Council, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth University Student Union, Ceredigion County Council, Dyfed Powys-Police, Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Haverfordwest County AFC, Hywel Dda University Health Board, and The Wales Hate Support Centre at Victim Support.

Raising awareness

Councillor Catrin M S Davies, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Community Cohesion, said: “We are proud to support this event to raise awareness of Hate Crime Awareness Week. No-one should experience a hate crime and we encourage anyone who is affected to report it by contacting the Police or Victim Support. I’m sure both teams will give their best on the pitch and the fans will thoroughly enjoy, and hopefully will appreciate the innovative way of raising awareness of this important matter.”

Dafydd Llywelyn, Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “Experiencing hate crime can be a particularly frightening experience, and can have a long-lasting effect on victims, their families and our communities. It is pleasing to see both Haverfordwest County, and Aberystwyth Town Football Clubs playing their part in raising people’s awareness of the impact of hate crime today. This game, as well as every other activity and event taking place during Hate Crime Awareness week will hopefully educate people about their responsibilities and provide them with the knowledge and skills to help them challenge the attitudes and behaviours that lead to hate crime.”

Becca Rosenthal is the Manager for Wales Hate Support Centre at Victim Support, and she said: “The purpose of Hate Crime Awareness Week is to raise awareness of hate crime, ways to report and the support available for people and communities that have been affected. It is also about showing solidarity to those affected, to remember those we have lost and support those that need it. There is something really powerful about coming together through the universal language of sport in this way to show solidarity, unity and the strength of Allyship.”

Professor Tim Woods, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience at Aberystwyth University, said: “We wholeheartedly welcome this initiative as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week. The University is committed to developing and promoting equality and diversity in all our practices and activities, and to provide a study and work environment that is inclusive, free from discrimination and one that upholds the values of respect, dignity and courtesy. Opportunities to raise awareness of hate crime and its corrosive effects on individuals and society are most important and we applaud the commitment of both football teams and the partner agencies who support this event.”

Anna Bird, Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships, Diversity and Inclusion for Hywel Dda University Health Board, also supported the campaign by saying: “Hywel Dda University Health Board is pleased to be supporting this event as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week. Organisations and individuals have an important role to play in striving to eliminate discrimination within our communities and these events are just one example of the work that we do jointly with other partners. Health Board staff are pleased to work in partnership to support initiatives that like this that aim to raise awareness of the harmful effects of hate crime.”

What is a hate crime and how to report it?

A hate crime is any criminal behaviour which appears to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice, or includes words or behaviour that show hostility, based on a person’s perceived:

  • race
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity
  • disability

A hate crime can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, as well as damage to property. The perpetrator could be someone unknown to you, or they could be a friend. It can take place both in person and online.

If you experience a hate crime, you can call the police directly by dialling 999 if you are in immediate danger, or 101 for non-emergencies.

Ring 0300 30 31 982 (free 24/7) to contact Victim Support directly. Calls are treated confidentially and you have the option to remain anonymous

You can also report online at www.reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk  

More information is available here: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/your-council/strategies-plans-policies/equality-diversity/hate-crime/

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