Will the Minister outline the Welsh Government's strategy for dealing with LGBTQ+ hate crimes in the community?
We want to create a society where LGBTQ+ people are safe to live and to love authentically, openly and freely as themselves.
We have just launched the second phase of our Hate Hurts Wales campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the impact hate crimes have on LGBTQ+ communities. This phase of the campaign will run to March 2022, through online media and television advertising.
The campaign aims to increase the reporting of hate crimes, dissuade perpetrators from committing hate crime by highlighting the consequences of their actions and inspire the public to join us in standing up to hate crime in Wales. We have worked with all at-risk communities, including LGBTQ+ community members to design the messaging.
We have also published a draft LGBTQ+ Action Plan for public consultation. We are proposing a series of actions to help tackle LGBTQ+ hate crimes, these include: working with the police to improve relations with our LGBTQ+ communities and review how best to improve hate crime reporting; working with social media to tackle hate crime and misinformation online; and to continue to invest in hate crime prevention programmes in schools across Wales.
We also continue to fund the National Hate Crime Report and Support Centre to provide tailored support for victims and their families, as well as delivering a host of hate crime awareness raising work and training across sectors.
The Law Commission is due to provide the UK Government with its report on recommended changes to hate crime legislation. We have written to UK Ministers several times to highlight the current lack of parity in hate crime laws, including to urge the UK Government to ensure crime motivated by hateful attitudes to sexual orientation or transgender identity are treated as aggravated offences, bringing them into line with the manner in which racially and religiously motivated hate crimes are prosecuted. We strongly believe the UK Government should commit to legislate in response to this review in the current Parliamentary session but we have not received those assurances so far.