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Rise in number of recorded hate crimes in Wales.

DISABILITY hate crime rose by over a third in Wales last year, according to official statistics. The number of hate crimes targeting the disabled recorded by the four Welsh police forces jumped from 150 in 2013-14 to 202 in 2014-15.

Officials say the rise is the result of improved recording practices and victims' increased willingness to report crimes. South Wales Police accounted for the majority of these crimes, with a 37% increase to 137, while Gwent Police recorded 23, North Wales Police recorded 28 and Dyfed-Powys Police recorded 14.

The figures, released by the Home Office today, also show that there has been an 30% increase in hate crime motivated by sexual orientation in Wales over the past 12 months, with the 270 crimes in 2013-14 rising to 351 in 2014-15.

Race hate crime remains by far the most common type of hate crime in the area after a 19% increase to 1,677 crimes in 2014-15.

South Wales was by far the most likely part of Wales for somebody to be the victim of a hate crime, with 11.6 per 10,000 people. In North Wales the figure was 5.7 per 10,000, followed by 4.6 per 10,000 in the Gwent Police area and 1.9 per 10,000 in the Dyfed-Powys Police area. But Mark Warrender, chair of the Hate Crime Criminal Justice Board Cymru, insisted the figures were a "positive indicator" that communities are feeling confi-dent to report hate crime and that reporting systems are more accessible to people.

"Although initially it may seem alarming that levels have risen, this doesn't necessarily mean that more hate crime is happening," said Mr Warrender.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 15, 2015
Words:279
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