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New survey asks people for their views on hate crime in Wales

11 January 2011

The Cardiff and the Vale Equality and Human Rights Network has launched a new survey inviting people to share their views and experiences of hate crime in Wales.  The survey is part of a three-year Big Lottery funded research project which is being led by Race Equality First in partnership with the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice at Cardiff University.   

The Association of Chief Police Officers recently released figures that revealed almost 2,000 hate incidents were recorded in Wales during 2009.  However, existing research including the British Crime Survey suggests that this figure is just the tip of the iceberg and that hate crime remains significantly underreported. 

Furthermore, existing sources have indicated that hate crime is a growing problem in Wales.  Race Equality First’s ‘Race Hate Crime Survey’ (2009) found that 59% of black, minority and ethnic respondents in Cardiff had experienced a race hate crime in 2008-9.  Stonewall Cymru’s ‘Counted Out Survey’ (2003) found that 1 in 3 gay, lesbian and bisexual people had been victims of homophobic violence or bullying.  Recently, hate crime has gained wider attention as reflected in the BBC Wales documentary ‘Why do you hate me?’ (January 2010) which highlighted the issue of hate crime committed against disabled people.

Dr Matthew Williams from the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice at Cardiff University said, “Currently data pertaining to hate crime in Wales is limited in its capacity to identify the extent of the problem.  This project broadens the focus beyond the equality categories recognised by the Home Office to provide a more comprehensive picture of hate crime in Wales and the impact it has upon all victims”. 

The All Wales Hate Crime Research Project incorporates groundbreaking research which focuses on hate crime and hate-related incidents (that are believed to be motivated by hostility or prejudice) across seven equality strands – age; disability/impairment; gender; race; religion and belief; sexual orientation, and transgender status.  The primary aims of the research are to investigate the prevalence, nature and impact of hate crime and hate-related incidents, improve support for victims and ultimately help to enhance the way that the criminal justice system and other organisations deal with such incidents.  

The research prioritises gathering information on hate crimes and incidents, which includes criminal acts and low level, persistent incidents such as harassment, name calling, ridicule, being ignored and being treated with impatience, intolerance or frustration because of your identity.  The findings from the survey will be used to improve support for victims and help national and local agencies to develop evidence-based policy and practice to combat hate crime in Wales.

Mair Rigby, Project Officer from Race Equality First said, “We are delighted to launch this survey in partnership with Cardiff University and the Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Equality and Human Rights Network.  We hope that this exciting piece of research will have real benefits for people who live, work in, and visit Wales”. 

 

People can register their interest in participating in the research by going to the website http://www.waleshatecrimeresearch.com/ 

For more information about the survey, please contact Jasmin Tregidga at Cardiff University on 029 2087 5093 or email TregidgaJ@Cardiff.ac.uk