Communities Equality and Human Rights

What is being done to tackle racism in Wales?

In Plenary on Tuesday, 7 May, Assembly Members will debate ‘Tackling Racism and Racial Inequality in Wales’.

Estimated reading time: 5 Minutes

03 May 2019

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

In Plenary on Tuesday, 7 May, Assembly Members will debate ‘Tackling Racism and Racial Inequality in Wales’.

Hate crime

In 2017-18 there were 94,098 hate crime offences recorded by the police in England and Wales, an increase of 17% compared with the previous year.

There has been an upward trend in the number of hate crimes recorded by the police in the last five years, with offences more than doubling since 2012-13, from 42,255 to 94,098 offences (an increase of 123%). The Home Office states that:

“This increase is thought to be largely driven by improvements in police recording, although there has been spikes in hate crime following certain events such as the EU Referendum and the terrorist attacks in 2017.”

A breakdown of the number of hate crime offences in England and Wales in 2017-18 by the five centrally-monitored strands show that there were:

  • 71,251 (76%) race hate crimes;
  • 11,638 (12%) sexual orientation hate crimes;
  • 8,336 (9%) religious hate crimes;
  • 7,226 (8%) disability hate crimes; and
  • 1,651 (2%) transgender hate crimes.

A hate crime can have more than one motivating factor which is why the above figures come to a total greater than 94,098 and a percentage greater than 100%.

Hate crime in Wales

The statistics for 2017-18 show that the majority (74%) of hate crimes reported and recorded in Wales were motivated by race or religion.

The below table shows the number of recorded race hate crimes, and the total number of recorded hate crimes, for each police force in Wales in 2011-12 and 2017-18:

These statistics show an increase of 68% in recorded race hate crimes in Wales between 2011-12 and 2017-18, and an increase of 86% in the total recorded hate crimes in Wales between 2011-12 and 2017-18.

Community cohesion

In March 2016, the Welsh Government published its Community Cohesion National Delivery Plan for 2016-17. The Delivery Plan includes seven specific outcomes:

  • Departments, organisations and people understand hate crime, victims make reports and get appropriate support;
  • Departments, organisations and people understand modern slavery, victims make reports and get appropriate support;
  • Increased awareness and engagement across Gypsy and Traveller communities;
  • Increased evidence and awareness on immigration and supporting the inclusion of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants;
  • Increased understanding regarding the impacts of poverty on people with Protected Characteristics across key services and policy delivery;
  • Key policies and programmes are supporting and evidencing delivery against the national goal on more cohesive communities through the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015; and
  • Policies and services are responsive to community tensions.

Community Cohesion National Delivery Plan

In response to a recommendation in the Equality, Local Government and Communities (ELGC) Committee’s report ‘I used to be someone’: Refugees and asylum seekers in Wales, the Welsh Government committed to updating the Community Cohesion National Delivery Plan by summer 2017.

In its Inquiry into Human Rights in Wales, the ELGC Committee heard evidence from a number of witnesses who raised concerns about the perceived increase in hate crime following the EU referendum. The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s written evidence noted:

“in the month following the EU referendum, reports show that racist or religious abuse incidents recorded by police in England and Wales increased by 41% compared to the previous year.”

In April 2018, a joint letter from the Chair of the ELGC Committee and the Chair of the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee to the First Minister recommended that:

“the Welsh Government update the Community Cohesion Plan before summer 2018 to take account of recent rises in hate crime and new challenges to community cohesion in Wales.”

In July 2018, the then Leader of the House, stated in Plenary that the Welsh Government would be consulting on the new Community Cohesion National Delivery Plan ‘in the autumn’. So far, no new Community Cohesion National Delivery Plan has been published.

Brexit

The Welsh Government’s webpages on preparing Wales for Brexit, deal specifically with community cohesion, and state that:

“The Welsh Government wants to make sure Wales is an inclusive country in which people from all backgrounds are welcomed and there is zero tolerance of xenophobia, racism or bigotry.”

Before explaining that:

“The Welsh Government’s EU Transition Fund has helped to expand the regional community cohesion programme and the network of coordinators to help identify potential problems in their areas. Their role is to reduce local tensions through engagement and reassurance and to facilitate collaboration between public services. Additional funding from the EU Transition Fund will also be used to build on the existing network of coordinators to undertake specific work to mitigate community tensions relating to Brexit.”

Increased funding

In March 2019, the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, announced that £840,000 will be made available over two years from the Welsh Government’s European Transition Fund to tackle hate crime, with:

  • £360,000 for Victim Support Cymru to increase the capacity of its National Hate Crime Report & Support Centre; and
  • £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.

Racial inequality

Education

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Is Wales Fairer 2018 report provides information about racial inequality in Wales.

Early years educational attainment in Wales is measured by analysing the percentage of seven year olds achieving the ‘expected outcome’ or better at the end of the Foundation Phase. ‘Is Wales Fairer’ notes that in 2016/17 for children in early years education, Indian children (93.2%) and children of mixed ethnicity (88.8%) achieved better outcomes than White British children (87.7%). Black children (83.1%) achieved lower outcomes, while Gypsy/Roma/Irish Traveller children (56.2%) achieved the lowest outcomes.

Attainment at the end of compulsory education is measured in Wales by the achievement of the Level 2 inclusive threshold, which requires the equivalent of five GCSEs at grade A*-C, including English or Welsh first language and mathematics. ‘Is Wales Fairer’ pooled three years’ data to overcome small sample sizes, and found that the percentage achieving the threshold were highest for Indian (81.0%) and Chinese pupils (80.8%). A higher percentage of Bangladeshi (65.2%) than White British pupils (58.9%) reached this level of attainment, compared with one in five Gypsy/Gypsy Roma pupils (21.5%).

Employment

‘Is Wales Fairer’ states that Indian (76.9%), Pakistani (74.4%) and White people excluding White British and White Irish people (71.8%) had higher employment rates in 2016/17, than the White British rate (55.9%). Indian people (1.5%) had a low unemployment rate in 2016/17, which was three times lower than that for the White British population (4.5%). In 2016/17, Indian people (£14.43) had higher median hourly earnings than White British people (£10.60), while Black people (£8.71) had lower median hourly earnings.


Article by Megan Jones, Senedd Research, National Assembly for Wales