Funding support to reduce the scale and impact of hate crimes in Wales has been announced today.
The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, made the announcement in a speech marking the United Nation’s Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. £840,000 of funding will come from the Welsh Government’s European Transition Fund, shared over 2 years.
The funding will be shared across 2 strands:
- £360,000 for Victim Support Cymru to increase the capacity of its National Hate Crime Report & Support Centre
- £480,000 for a funding scheme offering one-off grants to organisations who work with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and minority faith communities to help tackle hate crime, mitigate the impact of Brexit, and provide reassurances following the EU withdrawal.
Victim Support Cymru already runs the All Wales Hate Crime Report and Support Centre and this additional funding will provide extra resources to support victims of hate crime in Wales. It will also fund training for the volunteers, who make up the majority of staff.
The Welsh Government will work closely with members of the Wales Race Forum to co-design the BAME grant scheme. Statistics show 74% of hate crimes and incidents in Wales relate to race and/or religion, meaning BAME and minority faith communities are disproportionately affected with often devastating impacts on victims, their families and the wider community.
The one-off grants will fund projects within organisations who already work in these communities, including those working with non-UK EU citizens, asylum seekers and refugees.
Today’s UN Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination began after police opened fire and killed 69 people in 1960 at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws".
Speaking at EYST Wales’ conference around community cohesion today, the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, said:
“Wales has a proud history as a diverse and welcoming society and there is no doubt this will continue following Brexit. These announcements reflect the Welsh Government’s long-held commitment to championing justice and race equality across our nation.
“However, we show no complacency and fully recognise the impact hate crimes have on our minority communities. With incidents such as in New Zealand, the threat of the extreme right is present globally and we must continue to send out the message that we abhor racism here in Wales.
“The funding commitments shared today will go towards ensuring everyone in Wales feels safe, supported and that Wales is a nation of sanctuary, regardless of race of religion.”