RACE hate incidents in North Wales involving children have increased by more than 100 percent in three years.

A child as young as one was among the victims of race hate in North Wales, as the number of offences recorded by police has escalated to a three-year high since 2015.

A Freedom of Information request into incidents involving children up to the age of 17 revealed a rise from 21 offences in 2015/16 to 45 in 2017/2018 - an increase of 114 percent. Across this period, North Wales Police recorded 101 offences, second only to South Wales with 381.

The figures show the most commonly affected age group was children of secondary school age - 11 and above - with 15 incidents of 'Racially or Religiously Aggravated Public Fear, Alarm or Distress' being the most reported offence.

One girl, aged 10, said: “I’ve been bullied ever since I started school. The bullies call me nasty names - it makes me feel so ashamed.

“My friends won’t hang out with me anymore because people started asking why they were friends with someone who had dirty skin.

“I was born in the UK but bullies tell me to go back to my own country. I don’t understand because I’m from the UK.

“I’ve tried to make my face whiter before using make up so that I can fit in. I just want to enjoy going to school.”

The NSPCC investigation found that there were 594 offences recorded by the four Welsh forces nationwide, with 240 race hate crimes logged in 2017/18 alone – an average of 20 per month.

John Cameron, the head of the NSPCC-supported service Childline, said: “Childhood bullying of this nature can cause long term emotional harm to children and can create further divisions in our society.

“If we see a child bullying another because of their race we need to tackle it head on, by explaining that it’s not ok and how hurtful it is.

“I would urge any child who is being targeted because of their race to contact Childline, and any adult to call the helpline if they are worried about a child.”

North Wales Police Equality Advisor; Lee Bailey said:“North Wales Police takes all reports of hate incidents and crimes seriously and we will continue to encourage reporting from all areas of society.

"We recognise the increase in reporting amongst younger people and encourage all those that experience or witness hate crime to report it to North Wales Police via 101 when not an emergency”.

Incident can also be reported online via north-wales.police.uk/about-us/equality-and-diversity/reporting-hate-crime.