NO person in Wales should have to tolerate hate crime, a Deputy Minister has said.

Figures shown to the Leader show an increase hate crime figures in North Wales compared to last year.

Last year to date showed 520 cases reported which has increased to 658 this year to date.

Of those involving disability hate crime, 41 were reported last year to date by week 28, compared to 79 this year to date. This is an increase of 92.7 per cent.

Jan Thomas, founder of theFDF, formerly the Flintshire Disability Forum, previously said that many instances of hate crime go unreported.

She previously told the Leader: "At TheFDF we have seen an increase in the number of disabled people feeling fearful of returning to normality and an increase in mental health issues.

"We know from official figures from North Wales police that hate crime has increased dramatically during Covid, far from bringing communities together we know that those people seen as being ''different '' have been the target of unpleasant behaviour."

The number of hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales has hit its highest level on record, with racially motivated offences rising by more than 4,000 in a year.

The 2019/2020 National Hate Crime statistics, published by the Home Office today, show an overall 2 per cent increase in recorded hate crime for Wales, compared to 8 per cent increase across England and Wales as a whole.

The statistics included a 10 per cent increase in transgender hate crime, a 2 per cent rise in disability hate crime, and a 2 per cent rise in hate crime where sexual orientation is the motivating factor. There was a 2 per cent decrease in race hate crime, and a 3 per cent decrease in religious hate crime.

Victim Support Cymru will be launching its Hate Crime Charter on Saturday, focussing on the rights of victims of hate crime. The Welsh Government will be signing up to the Charter, and will encourage organisations to show their commitment to playing a part in tackling hate crime, from providing support and information for victims, to raising awareness.

Earlier this week, the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, made an oral statement in the Senedd to mark Hate Crime Awareness week.

Jane Hutt said: “No person in Wales should have to tolerate prejudice or hate crime. Everyone has the right to respect, and everyone should be able to go through their day without being insulted, harassed or attacked. It is vital that victims of hate crime are supported, and that perpetrators are held to account.

“We are working with the police, community cohesion co-ordinators and victim support services to make sure that people in Wales understand what hate crimes are, and what action victims, bystanders and communities should take when they happen. Hate crime can have a devastating effect on victims. Our work to raise awareness of hate crime and encourage victims to report is as vital as ever.

“Across Wales, organisations are using Hate Crime Awareness Week as an opportunity to remind people that they do not have to tolerate hate and prejudice. It is not acceptable for people to live in fear just because of who they are. I hope all will join me today in supporting this very clear message that there is no home for hate in Wales.”

The Minister has provided a message of support for an online event this afternoon hosted by Race Equality First, launching its Discrimination and Hate Crime Project as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week activities.