There is an important distinction between ‘hate incidents’ and ‘hate crimes’.
A hate incident is defined as:
Any incident which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate. The perception of the victim or any other person is the defining factor in determining a hate incident. The apparent lack of motivation as to the cause of an incident is not relevant as it is the perception of the victim or other person that counts.
For data recording purposes the police are obliged to record hate incidents where the perception of the victim or any other person is that the motivation for the prejudice or hate is based upon:
- Sexual orientation
A hate crime is defined as:
Any hate incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
It is important to note that all hate crimes are hate incidents. Some hate incidents may not constitute a criminal offence and will therefore not be recorded as a hate crime.
There is anecdotal information that hate crimes and hate incidents are under-reported. National data corroborates this picture.
It is important that information about hate incidents and hate crimes is recorded and shared with the Community Safety Partnership. Robust data will allow us to establish trends and will inform the action we take to tackle hate.
Therefore the Wrexham Community Safety Partnership is developing a range of initiatives to raise awareness of hate crime as an issue and to increase rates of reporting. A multi agency group has been established to develop:
- Community venues at which to report hate crime [known as ‘third party reporting centres’];
- amending reporting systems to make them more accessible;
- providing increased and co-ordinated support for victims of hate incidents and hate crimes;
- increasing the volume of data for analysis and longer term planning; and
- ensure appropriate co-ordination with existing North Wales Police protocols.
7 Council area housing offices and 12 Voluntary and Community organisations have now committed their support to the Third Party Reporting Centre project.
A pilot scheme was run between October 2007 and June 2008 in relation to racist hate crime. Training was provided to all organisations taking part in the pilot.
Following a review of the pilot scheme in July 2008 the project will be expanded to include more Third Party Reporting Centres and will respond to all forms of hate crime.