Queen's Police Medal honour for South Wales Police hate crime officer
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Many congratulations to PC Anne Overton, a hate crime officer with South Wales Police, who has been recognised with a prestigious Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service in the New Year Honours list.
Anne, 54, who has been a hate crime officer in the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot area since 2018, was described as a “passionate and dedicated officer committed to bringing about positive changes for victims of hate crime” in the citation accompanying the announcement of her award.
From Port Talbot, Anne began her policing career with the Metropolitan Police in 1990, before transferring to her home force of South Wales Police in 1998.
And the citation praises her years of work with a number of different minority groups within the community, and speaks of her “passion and natural desire to understand her communities”.
Among the initiatives she has been instrumental in has been establishing a support group to provide mental health support and networking opportunities for transgender people, something of particular value during the pandemic; raising awareness of hate crime including via local media outlets; organising employer awareness sessions to help businesses become more inclusive; and setting up the “No Place for Hate” initiative at Swansea City Football Club to tackle racist behaviour at football games.
She continues to work tirelessly to encourage victims of hate crime to report their experiences, and to build trust and confidence between members of the community and the police.
It all means that Anne has established herself as an officer who is well respected by community leaders and local groups alike.
Reacting to news of her award, Anne said:
“I am delighted – and a little bit embarrassed! I have loved being a police officer and being able to do the job that I have in the community I grew up in. “One of the main things I want to do in my job is to encourage people to report hate crime to the police, and to have the confidence to do so. “I do feel privileged to have been able to meet so many communities and build on the links that were already in place, and I feel I have strong links with a number of different groups. “But I have also been a part of a team – it’s certainly not just me, and I have had great support for what I do from those around me. I feel proud to be part of a team that’s improving awareness and reporting of hate crime in the community.”
Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said:
“Anne is a brilliant police officer, whose commitment to her job and to the people she works with is second-to-none. It is clear she is held in the utmost regard by those she works with every day, and her work has led directly to improved relationships between our local communities and the police. “Anne thoroughly deserves this recognition, although it is clear that she works as hard as she does to genuinely improve people’s lives. I’m so proud of officers such as Anne – congratulations on this superb honour.”
Congratulations again from us all, Anne!
A hate crime is defined as 'Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.'
Tackling hate crime is a priority for us. Hate crime is totally unacceptable, and we take it extremely seriously. We’re committed to community cohesion and supporting the diverse communities we serve.
Anyone who suffers a hate crime should report it, with confidence that it will be taken seriously. Non-emergency matters can be reported online through the South Wales Police website or True Vision.
In an emergency always dial 999.
We are committed to protecting our communities and safeguarding those who are vulnerable. Anyone who is a victim of hate crime or witnesses a hate-related incident is encouraged to report it. Through reporting we can take action against perpetrators and provide victims with the support they need.