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Victim Support brings together Hate Crime Leaders and the Welsh Government to address the rise in hate crime reports across Wales

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Independent charity Victim Support hosted a virtual event on 13th July, which brought together the Welsh Government and Hate Crime Leaders to work to tackle hate crime across Wales.

Key guests included the Minister of Social Justice, Jane Hutt MS, Hate Crime Leaders and organisations signed up to the Hate Crime Charter across Wales. Those included representatives from Cardiff Council, Swansea Council, Cardiff University, Swansea University and Students Union, South Wales Police, British Transport Police, YMCA, CIWA, BAWSO and Women Connect First.

The event comes after the charity has seen a stark increase in demand for its hate crime support services, up to 70%, during the pandemic. This rise was driven largely as a result of racial and homophobic related incidences.

In response to the rise in Hate Crime, Victim Support launched the Hate Crime Charter in 2020, which commits organisations to deliver rights for victims, as well as supporting them in identifying and reporting hate related crimes and incidences.

Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice, said: “We want to make Wales a safe place where everyone is free to be themselves – no one should ever have to live in fear and experience hate.

“Through the Charter and through Hate Crime Leaders, Victim Support has created an important network of allies to help support its work with victims and its awareness raising activities across Wales. These initiatives highlight that everyone can play a part in tackling hate crime and promoting equality.

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“The Welsh Government has signed the Hate Crime Charter and I encourage organisations and establishments from all sectors and backgrounds to join us. I hope the event will inspire more involvement and build on the great progress already made.”

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Ahead of the event, Victim Support’s Chief Executive Officer, Diana Fawcett, said: “We are very pleased to host the upcoming discussion, bringing together Hate Crime leaders and the Welsh Government, and to welcome the Minister of Social Justice, Ms Jane Hutt to the event.

“The aim of our Hate Crime Charter is to help make a more equal, safe and inclusive Wales and we all have a role to play in making this possible. This is why we hope to use the upcoming event as an opportunity to acknowledge the important work already done by the organisations that signed up to the Charter but also to discuss and inspire the crucial changes ahead of us.”

The event will also mark the launch of Victim Support’s new ‘Trustmark’ to acknowledge the work organisations have done to adhere to the Charter and in  creating a better environment for victims and witnesses of hate crime.

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Since its launch in October 2020, 38 organisations across Wales are currently benefiting from the Charter including universities, voluntary organisations and all four police forces. It has also meant that Victim Support has been able to help over 800 victims of hate crime in the last year and train over 2200 people in hate crime awareness, all to encourage long-term change and contribute to a more equal, safe and inclusive Wales.

Victim Support runs the National Hate Crime Report and Support Centre across Wales. Commissioned by the Welsh Government, the service provides free and confidential emotional support to those affected by hate and allows people to report hate crime incidents, including anonymously.

(Lead image: Mike Gifford / Creative Commons)

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South Wales Police

Logan Mwangi: Three sentenced for murder

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Three people have been sentenced for murdering five year-old Logan Mwangi, whose body was discovered by police officers in a river near his home in Sarn, in July 2021.

Angharad Williamson, 31, John Cole, 40, and 14 year-old Craig Mulligan, appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday, June 30.

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They were convicted of murder and perverting the course of justice back in April. During a trial which lasted for 10-weeks, the court heard how the defendants colluded in an attempt to cover-up Logan’s murder in the hours that followed his death.

Logan’s body was found by police officers in the River Ogmore at around 6am on Saturday, 31st July, shortly after a 999 call was made by Logan’s mother, Angharad Williamson.

The defendants tried to convince officers that Logan had gone missing overnight but all three were arrested when officers became suspicious.

Damning evidence was gathered by the Major Crime Investigation Team in the days that followed and they were charged with murder.

A Home Office Post Mortem carried out on Logan found that he had suffered more than 56 injuries which were described by a pathologist to be so extreme, that you would expect to find them as a result of a fall from great height or a high speed road traffic collision.

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John Cole was jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 29 years before he can be considered for release. Angharad Williamson was jailed for life and will serve a minimum 28 years. Craig Mulligan will be detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure for a minimum of 15 years.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Lianne Rees, of the South Wales Police Major Crime Investigations Team, said: “Today’s sentences are a reflection of the appalling crimes committed back in July last year.

“It is incomprehensible that Logan had his life cut short in such tragic circumstances at the hands of those very people who should have been there to protect him.

“For Logan’s father, Ben, who stands beside me, today’s sentences are welcome news, however no amount of justice can bring Logan back, or compensate for the grief that continues to be felt.

“Ben, and his family, have demonstrated incredible strength throughout the investigation and legal process. What they have been through is hard to comprehend, but they have endured everything with tremendous courage and dignity at this most difficult time.

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“The impact Logan’s death has had, and continues to have on all those who loved and knew him within the local community, is immeasurable.

“Knowing that justice has been done for Logan, I hope they can now begin to rebuild their lives and celebrate the joy that he gave them during the precious time they had with him.

“Once again, I would like to pay tribute to the professionalism displayed by police officers and emergency service colleagues who were faced with the most traumatic scenes imaginable back in July of last year.

“I would also like thank my team of detectives and staff who have worked tirelessly on this investigation, together with the Crown Prosecution Service and Prosecution Counsel. The efforts of all involved have contributed to today’s outcome.”

Following the verdict handed down in the Logan Mwangi case today, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their calls for an independent inquiry into Children’s services in Wales to try and prevent any more tragedies.

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Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS, who worked for over 25 years as a child protection social worker said: “This case is utterly tragic and we must ensure lessons are learned so that it never happens again.

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats are very clear, following a number of alarming incidents, the Welsh Government should announce a review of child protection across Wales.

“Social workers, their managers, family support workers and colleagues in the health and education systems are working hard to protect children. But, more is needed to help social workers to do their job and a Chief Social Worker for Children is needed – as they have in England.

“Both Scotland and England are carrying out independent inquiries into the state of children’s social services in their jurisdiction. There is no reason for Wales not to do the same.”

(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Eight people have lost £58k in the last week to criminals in ‘courier fraud’ – with Llanelli area being hit hardest

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thoughtful adult woman talking on smartphone

Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating a growing number of reports of people posing as bank staff or police officers, as eight people have lost £58,000 to criminals in the last week alone due to ‘Courier Fraud’.

This increase is particularly prevalent in the Llanelli area.

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DC Gareth Jordan from the Economic Crime Team said: “People posing as fake bank staff or police officers have been calling residents and persuading them their accounts have been compromised, then sending a courier to collect the money. This is known as Courier Fraud.

“In the past week alone we have seen eight people lose a significant amount of money between them, and it’s very distressing for those victims. We are asking friends and family to look out for those that could be vulnerable – talk to them about this scam, advise them to be vigilant, and report any suspicious calls.

“Please remember that police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a ‘safe’ account.”

Dyfed Powys Police warn that if someone is claiming to be a police officer asks you to withdraw money for safe keeping or that they’re investigating the bank staff, it’s a scam.

The police, or your bank, will never ask you to assist in an internal investigation. They will never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN either. Never hand your card over with the PIN number.

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And the police will never send someone to your home to collect money, nor will they ask you to transfer funds out of your account.

Top Tips to protect yourself from fraudsters

Stop: Always take a moment to think before parting with your money or information – it could keep you safe.

Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam and report it to the police.

Report suspicious emails to: report@phishing.gov.uk

You can also report suspicious texts by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad. 

Anyone who receives a similar call is asked to contact Dyfed-Powys Police either online; by emailing: 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or calling: 101.

Anyone who thinks they have fallen victim to a scammer should report it by calling 101, or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. For further advice and information on how to avoid being scammed visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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Neath

Body found in search for missing Neath man

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A body has been found in the search for missing man Mathew Scott who was last seen on Saturday 4th June in Neath.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Owens from South Wales Police said: “Officers, following up on information sent into us by members of the public, forced entry to an address in Windsor Road, Neath, yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 28th June) and found a body inside.

“Formal identification has taken place and Mathew’s family have been informed.

“Detectives are continuing enquiries to ascertain the full circumstances behind his death. A 44 year old man from Neath is assisting officers with their investigation.

“I’d like to thank everyone who shared our appeal and provided us with valuable information.”

(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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