HATE crime has reached record levels in Gwent, figures reveal – with police logging two offences each day.

Charity bosses and faith leaders have called for urgent action to tackle record levels of hate crime, with a rise in incidents showing no signs of slowing since it rose following the 2016 EU referendum.

Gwent Police recorded 715 hate crimes in 2018-19, the latest Home Office statistics show – up seven per cent from the previous year.

The rise continues the upward trend seen since records began in 2012-13, when officers logged 237 incidents.


Reports can include racially or religiously aggravated assault, harassment and criminal damage.

Two-thirds of reports in Gwent related to race, while 22 per cent featured hostility towards sexual orientation.

Gwent's police and crime commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said: “Hate crime of any kind will not be tolerated in Gwent.

“It is a horrible offence and can leave victims dealing with physical and emotional damage for many years.

“I want Gwent to be a place where people can live and work without fear.

“Gwent Police have worked consistently to improve the reporting of hate crimes and in the last six years the number has increased significantly."

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Jonathan Edwards is Gwent Police’s lead for hate crime.

He said: “We know hate crimes and incidents have been significantly underreported and have worked hard over the last few years to improve this.

“Increases nationally are thought to be largely driven through improved police recording and spikes following certain events such as the continuing Brexit process and terrorist attacks.

“Hate crime has been shown to have a disproportionate negative impact on victims and communities.

“Despite an increase in reports, we know that the numbers still do not reflect the lived experiences of people in Gwent. I would continue to encourage anyone who feels they have been a victim of hate crime to report it and let us help you.”


Gwent Police has a team of more than 30 Hate Crime Support Officers (HCSOs) who have received additional training in supporting victims. They are available on 101 or 999 in emergencies.

Across England and Wales, police recorded more than 103,000 hate crimes in the last year, a 10 per cent rise on the previous year, and more than double the 42,000 recorded in 2012-13.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, the National Police Chiefs' Council's lead on hate crime, said: "We recognise there are real divisions in our society at this time, and there is a responsibility on us all to think carefully on how we communicate with each other to avoid escalating tensions or emboldening others."

Citizens UK, an umbrella organisation of faith and community groups, said its research suggests levels of hate crimes are far higher than those recorded in official data.

In an open letter signed by a number of bishops, imams and rabbis, they expressed "deep concern at the rising tide of fear and division".

Matthew Bolton, Citizen UK's executive director, said: "Communities from across the UK are increasingly concerned that we aren't going fast enough or far enough to strengthen hate crime protections.

"Political, media and institutional decision makers need an action plan to stop the toxic mix of scare stories on social media and a divisive political environment, which is providing a breeding ground for hate."

Hate crime can be reported to police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org