Events have taken place across Newport this weekend to mark the beginning of Hate Crime Awareness Week. A time to stand together against people who try to divide society with hatred and intolerance.
Newport has a rich history as a diverse city; where people from all walks of life, different nationalities and different beliefs come together. It is one of the best things about Newport, but this rich cultural heritage of our population is not always celebrated. Instead Newport is often portrayed to outsiders as a grey city, with high crime and deprivation.
Step inside, and open yourself up to what Newport has got to offer and you will see it is far from grey. You will find a city full of music, energy and colour.
Even those who live in Newport’s poorest areas, where antisocial behaviour, drug use and crime are a daily concern have such amazing stories to tell. And yet, here in Newport, members of our communities are suffering from hate crimes. Abused and victimised just for being different.
Transgender? Goth? Refugee? All those things that make us unique could make us a victim of a hate crime, but often people do not report these crimes. Physical or verbal abuse and violence against individuals or groups because of who they are is a criminal offence.
This week Gwent Police are calling on people to have more confidence in reporting incidents. Local Police and Crime Commissioner, Jeff Cuthbert, said he wanted Gwent to be a place “where people can live, work and contribute to our communities without living in constant fear of experiencing hatred of any kind".
If you experience or witness a hate crime there are several ways you can report it:
Report it to Gwent Police
Report in confidence to Victim Support
Telephone: 0300 303 1982
In an Emergency
The week of awareness events has already seen the Crush Hate Crime Festival bringing a day of theatre, speeches and live music to Meze Lounge and Warehouse54. Meanwhile, Sunday saw a five a side football tournament at the Gol Centre in Lliswerry, hosted by Gwent Police.
On Saturday 21st October a family festival is being held at the Riverfront Theatre from 12pm – 5pm. There is due to be a host of fun activities for all the family available on the day. There will be a cultural café, showcases from a range of Gwent acts and much more.
There will also be a performance of ‘Just a Bit of Banter’ by Reality Theatre. This is billed as a hard hitting and brutally honest play exploring the impact of everyday hate crime. This performance is not suitable for under 14s and contains bad language and violence that some may find upsetting. The performance will start at 2pm at the Riverfront.
Take some time this week to consider people living in our city who suffer abuse and violence just for who they are. Let’s stand together against hate crime.