Rise in race hate crime against children
THE number of recorded race hate crimes against children in North Wales has more than doubled in just three years, sparking concern over a “worrying rise in racism”.
Children as young as one were among the victims as the number of incidents rose from 21 in 2015/16 to 45 in 2017/18, according to a Freedom of Information request made by children’s charity NSPCC.
The figures represent an increase of almost 115% in three years – with more than 20% of incidents against children aged 10 or younger.
A 10-year-old girl said she tried to make her face “whiter” because of the taunts she was subjected to.
She said: “I’ve been bullied ever since I started school. The bullies call me nasty names. It makes me feel so ashamed.
“My friends won’t hang out with me any more because people started asking why they were friends with someone who had dirty skin. I was born in the UK, but bullies tell me to go back to my own country.
“I don’t understand, because I’m from the UK. I’ve tried to make my face whiter before using make up so that I can fit in. I just want to enjoy going to school.”
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said North Wales Police would continue its “zero tolerance” approach to hate crime.
“This is a worrying trend in North Wales that appears to reflect a worrying rise in racism across the UK,” he said.
“It is particularly unpleasant when directed against children and I would urge victims of this crime to report it to North Wales Police.
The steepest rise was seen in malicious communications to young people and the most frequently reported crime was racially or religiously aggravated fear, alarm or distress, which accounted for 30% of all race hate crime reported in North Wales over the three-year period.
Anglesey reality star Jude Cisse, former wife of Liverpool star Djibril Cisse, spoke out in April against racism on social media and in sport, after her sons were targeted online.
In Wales, the north has the second highest figures for hate crimes against children, with South Wales seeing the most reports.