The Welsh Government’s Communities Minister Jeff Cuthbert has a created a new working group to tackle hate crime.
The minister made the announcement while launching the Hate Crime Awareness Week which runs from 14th to 18th October 2013.
The Hate Crime Criminal Justice Board Cymru will ensure a co-ordinated response to dealing with hate crime across Wales. It brings together representatives from the Welsh Government, police, councils and other agencies. The board will be chaired by the Crown Prosecution Service and meet for the first time on Friday.
“Many organisations have a responsibility to address hate crime and I am keen for us to get together and consider how we can work together with victims and offenders,” Mr. Cuthbert said. “Hate crime is not tolerated in Wales and we are committed to tackling it.”
The Welsh Government’s consultation on “Tackling Hate Crimes and Incidents: A Framework for Action” closes on Friday. The consultation will play a key role in informing the framework, which together with its delivery plan will be published in the spring.
The hate crime framework outlines steps ministers will take to address hate crime. Actions include challenging stereotypes and helping victims have the confidence to report crimes against them.
Mr. Cuthbert said: “No-one should suffer in silence and I encourage those being victimised to tell someone what is happening. I hope that the action we are taking will give people the confidence to come forward. Not only does hate crime affect the victim, but it can also impact on their family, friends and anyone who witnesses an incident.”
The minister revealed that he will early next year form an independent advisory group who will provide advice and input as well as monitor their progress.
Hate Crime Awareness Week aims to raise awareness of what constitutes a hate crime, to encourage victims to come forward and to promote support services and resources.