Leaders of Monmouthshire’s political groups have issued a joint statement opposing hate crime while supporting integration and promoting tolerance among and within communities across the county.  This is in line with the position adopted following a meeting of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) Council on July 1st.

Councillors Peter Fox (Conservative group), Dimitri Batrouni (Labour), Phil Hobson (Liberal) and Simon Howarth (Independent) were unanimous that hate crime should be resisted in all its forms and that there was no place for those who target and offend against people in Monmouthshire merely because they belong to a particular social group.

Monmouthshire’s Chairman, Councillor Jim Higginson said: “The council is strongly opposed to any form of hate crime and will work with all agencies to ensure the removal of this blight upon society.”

The council will discuss hate crime at its meeting on Thursday 28th July.

The full statement from the WLGA is as follows:

“Welsh Councils are proud to celebrate the diversity of all our communities from Butetown to Bangor. We also have a historic tradition of tolerance which has been at the heart of Welsh civil society based on our firm foundation as a bi-lingual nation.”

 “Councils have been at the forefront of welcoming asylum seekers and refugees from all parts of the world for many years. We value the contribution they have made and continue to make to society and we are proud of how Welsh communities have welcomed those who have been driven from their homes in situations of unimaginable crisis. Indeed, council workforces, especially in areas like social care, have been enriched by the presence of people from countries across the EU providing essential support to our communities”.

 “While it is pleasing to report from the police that despite a few isolated incidents there has been no noticeable spike in reports of hate crime across Wales, the National Police Chiefs’ Council has said 331 hate crime incidents have been reported to a national online reporting site. It is therefore important that we continue to monitor the situation in Wales and ready ourselves against any rise in hate crimes or abuse by those who might use last week’s referendum as cover to seek to divide our communities. Welsh councils, working with all our public sector colleagues, remain fully committed to supporting integration and promoting tolerance among and within our communities across Wales.”