South East Wales

Gwent Police 'break down barriers' with ethnic groups call

Asian mother and daughter
Image caption The report will be discussed at an event in Newport on Monday to coincide with the start of Refugee Week

Members of some minority ethnic communities in Gwent Police's area regularly experience hate incidents but do not report them, a study has found.

Race Council Cymru, who conducted the survey, said people feared not being believed or taken seriously.

It concluded police need to do more to reach ethnic groups in rural areas.

The 10-month study, funded by Gwent's police and crime commissioner, looked at ways of working with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Findings will be discussed by 80 representatives of Gwent BAME groups at an event in Newport on Monday.

The project collected views of people in emerging or so-called "hard to reach" communities around the five Gwent local authority areas, to help gain a better understanding of them.

These included Turkish and African communities in Torfaen; Nepalese, Syrian and Gypsy and travellers in Caerphilly; Sudanese in Newport and Ahmadiyya Muslim women.

Image copyright Gwent Police
Image caption Robert Muza, a Zimbabwean refugee who arrived in Newport 14 years ago, has been sharing his experiences and helping the project

The key findings included that people felt they should have more engagement with police - with a number of refugee women highlighting issues like vulnerability and lack of awareness of available services.

There was also a fear that miscommunication occurs because of things like language and cultural differences.

Some people interviewed in Cwmbran said they regularly experience hate incidents and crime, including verbal abuse, bullying and physical assault.

But they do not report these as they fear not being believed or taken seriously.

Gwent's Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said he hoped the study could be a "catalyst" for "breaking down barriers".

Race Council Cymru chief executive Uzo Iwobi said progress had been made but more work needed to be done to reach ethnic minority communities in rural parts of the force area.

Image copyright Gwent Police
Image caption Chief constable Jeff Farrar and Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert vowed to help increase trust and confidence within communities

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