"The drive to complete a PhD was not to accomplish a sought after academic accolade but to use it as a spring board to disseminate my findings and improve things for people experiencing hatred in Wales.
"When I started my PhD, I was managing the Wales Hate Crime Report and Support Centre which ensured all victims of hate crime in Wales had access to support and a voice.
"My PhD looked at the barriers and tipping points to reporting hate crimes in Wales, and urged for a victim-led approach. It developed new data within the field which has since been used by service providers to bring about change and positive action for victims.
"Having a PhD has benefitted me professionally. I have been given the responsibility of rewriting the operational guidance and procedures for hate crimes within Dyfed Powys Police, meaning that victims can be more easily identified and protected.
"If you're thinking of doing a PhD or postgraduate research degree, I thoroughly recommend USW.
Having previously studied a Crime and Justice Masters at USW I was pleased to return for the PhD, especially at its renowned International Centre for Policing and with the prospect of publishing some of the work I was doing.
"I was supported by a great academic team, led by Professor Colin Rogers and Brian Blakemore, who kept me motivated throughout and encouraged me to publish my research in academic journals and articles."
Chief Inspector Stuart Bell of Dyfed Powys Police said: "As the force lead for hate crime, it has been invaluable having Gareth’s input; his PhD and background in the field have given him the knowledge and experience to re-shape operational guidance and to assist in evaluating the effectiveness of our practices. Our approach to hate crime risk assessment and risk management has been subject to a significant review and Gareth has played a key part in the work."