Hate crime 'invisible' in Wales

A disability group is calling for more to be done encourage people to report hate crimes as the Welsh Government launches its plans to tackle the issue.

Under reporting of hate crime is 'complex issue'

Disability rights campaigner, Simon Green, from Bridgend, who has been a victim of hate crime, says he hopes the Welsh Government's plans will help victims deal with the abuse they have suffered.

Far too many disabled people avoid busy places, don't use public transport, don't go to pubs, and miss out on employment because they fear abuse and intimidation. Lots may ask 'Why should someone with a disability, or for that matter a different race, sexual orientation, etcetera get extra protection?' My answer is 'Yes anyone can be the victim of crime, can be bullied or assaulted. But if you are targeted specifically because of who or what you are the crime or incident is a lot more difficult to get over, and for some its a daily occurrence'

– Simon Green, disability rights campaigner

Many disabled people find themselves victims of hate crime because perpetrators perceive them as vulnerable and an easy target. Others might be targeted by people pretending to be their friends, who are only looking to humiliate or take advantage of them - something known as 'mate crime'. If someone experiences ongoing harassment like this, it can damage their self-esteem, make them less trusting of authorities, and isolate them from other people.

The numbers we have are very low. This may be because victims aren't coming forward, either because they fear some retribution or are worried that they simply won't be believed. It's a very complex issue, which is why we welcome the Welsh Government's plans to consult with the public about their experiences, and why victims may not want to report incidents. We look forward to seeing the framework put into action.

– Miranda French, Disability Wales

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Hate crime 'invisible' in Wales

A disability group is warning that hate crime is 'invisible' in Wales and more needs to be done to address the problem.

The Disability Hate Crime Action Group Cymru says that disabled people are often victims of attacks, theft and bullying and the incidents often go un-noticed due to under reporting.

Almost 2,000 hate crimes were reported to police in Wales between 2011 and 2012 and today sees the launch of the Welsh Government's plans to tackle the issue.

Communities minister Jeff Cuthbert is visiting Cantonian High School in Cardiff to launch a consultation on the forthcoming hate crime framework and meeting with students who are taking part in the Mencap Cymru Inspire me project.