Welsh Government Announce £350,000 for Hate Crime in Schools Project
The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt has announced that £350,000 will be given for the Hate Crime in Schools project which will be delivered through the Welsh Local Government Association.
It’s thought that engaging young people early is key to creating cohesive communities and as we mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week the Welsh Government has released information on Thursday 17th October 2019 about a new scheme to help school children in Wales and their teachers learn to better identify and respond to hate speech and misinformation, and to ensure schools nurture ethical, informed citizens who contribute to a more cohesive society.
The Welsh Government’s vision is for an inclusive Wales in which people from all backgrounds can thrive, and where there is no room for xenophobia, racism or bigotry and therefore are determined to drive out hate crime and ensure victims do not suffer in silence.
What is Exactly is a Hate Crime
So what exactly is a hate crime? Well the Home Office defines a Hate Crime as any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by an offender’s hatred of someone because of their:
- Race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origin
- Gender or sexual identity
- Sexual orientation
Examples of Hate Crime
Hate Crimes can take different forms and to explain it a bit better here are some examples of hate crimes:
- Physical attacks such as physical assault
- Damage to property
- Offensive graffiti
- Neighbour disputes
- Threats of attacks
- Offensive letters
- Abusive of obscene telephone calls
- Public intimidation
- Unfounded malicious complaints
- Verbal abuse or insults
- Abusive gestures
- Dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes
- Bullying at school or in the workplace.
Hate Crime on the Increase in Wales
Sadly hate crime reporting has increased year-on-year since the Welsh Government published its Tackling Hate Crimes and Incidents Framework in 2014.
The 2018/2019 Hate Crime Statistics for England and Wales were published by the Home Office on 15th October 2019 and statistics show a 17% increase in recorded hate crimes across Wales compared to 2017/2018. This compares to an overall 10% increase across the whole of England and Wales.
There were 3,932 recorded hate crimes across the four Welsh Police Force Areas which broken down were:
- 2,676 (68%) were race hate crimes;
- 751 (19%) were sexual orientation hate crimes;
- 206 (5%) were religion hate crimes;
- 443 (11%) were disability hate crimes; and
- 120 (3%) were transgender hate crimes.
The Hate Crime in Schools project is being funded from the Welsh Government’s European Transition Fund and is part of a package of additional support being provided over the coming 18 months to help to prevent hate crimes and incidents and mitigate their effects on victims and communities in Wales.
The Welsh Local Government Association will work with partners with the expertise by visiting schools across the country to encourage critical thinking skills and challenge myths which children may have heard. This will be achieved in approximately 100 schools during the 2019/2020 academic year.
The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt said, “Together we’re working to build a strong and diverse society here in Wales, where people of any race or faith are valued for their character and their actions. We all want to help create a peaceful and harmonious country where our children and future generations can thrive.”
“We hope this project can support our children and young people to develop critical thinking skills which will enable them to question hateful narratives wherever they encounter them. The project will also aim to equip school staff with the skills to challenge hate crime and support victims when it occurs in school.”
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, WLGA Education spokesperson said: “This funding announcement is welcome and will provide valuable support to schools and, crucially, to students to provide guidance and support, and to challenge and prevent incidents of hate crime occurring within our schools. The WLGA will work with local authorities in developing this programme and will align with the good work already established through authorities and in schools to ensure a cohesive approach, seeking to target the communities and schools which are most in need of support.”
Reporting and Help
Whilst the announcement of this funding is a positive one to improve help change mind sets, it won’t happen overnight and therefore a need to continue to offer help and support to those victims experiencing hate crime now is required.
Let’s not forget that Hate Crime is illegal and nobody should have to put up with it and you can and should report this to the Police or a Hate Incident Reporting Centre.
The National Hate Crime Report and Support Centre is at the forefront of the delivery of this support, funded by the Welsh Government to provide all Wales support and advice to victims of hate crime and can be contacted on 0300 3031982
Other useful contact details include:
Equality Advisory & Support (EASS) – 0808 800 0082
Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111
Find out how you can take your Muggle Family to eat their Christmas Dinner in Hogwarts Great Hall
Did you know Locally sourced Pumpkins usually have a longer shelf life and lower Carbon Footprint, We have put together a Handy Guide to Where you can Pick your Own Pumpkin in West Wales if you fancy taking the kids
Have you Entered our Latest Competition yet? – Click Here to Enter for Free