See It, Hear It, Report It – stand up to hate crime

Have you been a victim of or witnessed a hate crime?  It’s National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2016 and a campaign called #seeithearitreportit has been launched to encourage victims and witnesses of incidents to report it.

A hate crime or incident is one committed because of who a person is or who someone thinks they are. Whether it be for a person’s age, disability, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, gender or lifestyle choices, if someone or a group of people targets a person, commits a crime against them, bullies or harasses them, then this is a hate crime.

This might include verbal abuse, offensive graffiti, threatening behaviour, damage to property, assault, cyber bullying, abusive texts, emails or phone calls or taking money from a person.

National Hare Crime Awareness Week is held every year to raise awareness of what hate crime is and how to respond to it, encourage reporting and promote local support services and resources.  This year it runs from the 8th of October to the 15th.

Cardiff Council is supporting the initiative again this year, working with partners like South Wales Police, Victim Support and through the Neighbourhood Partnerships to tackle hate crime.

Cabinet Member for Skills, Safety and Engagement, Cllr Dan De’Ath, said: “The City Council wants to ensure Cardiff is a fair society where we promote equality and prevent discrimination and that means people have the right to go about their lives without the fear of being targeted and mistreated based on their identity.

“Unfortunately we did see an increase in reported hate crime over the summer in the city but it’s reassuring to know that levels have returned to normal.

“It’s important that people understand what a hate crime is. It may be a one-off incident or it could be something that has been going on for years that the victim doesn’t think is a crime, but it is.

“Most hate crimes aren’t reported but reporting makes such a difference as it helps us to understand how communities are affected and how we can tackle the issue by taking action against the culprit and providing support for the victim.

“We want people to report and send a clear message that Cardiff will not tolerate hate crime.”

Events will be taking place around Wales during Hate Crime Awareness week and more detail can be found on the Victim Support website.

If you are a victim of a hate crime and are in immediate danger, call the Police on 999. For non-emergencies call 101.  You can also report hate crime to Victim Support, the National hate crime referral agency on 0300 30 31 982 (Free 24/7). Calls are treated confidentially and you have the option to remain anonymous. You can also report online or visit the Race Equality First website for more information.

Search #HCAW16 and #seeithearitreportit on Twitter for more information.