United Kingdom hate crime cases rise by a third

Danny Woods
October 18, 2017

Latest data show an increase of 29 percent, from 62,518 in the 2015/2016 period - the largest increase since police started registering hate crimes five years ago.

"Part of the increase since 2015/16 is due to a genuine increase in hate crime, particularly around the time of the European Union referendum", the Home Office report said.

England and Wales have had their biggest ever year-on-year surge in hate crimes, new figures from the Home Office reveal, with recorded offences motivated by hate against minority groups rising 29% in 2016/7.

Regarding disability, transgender and sexual orientation hate crimes, the report said the rise "suggests that the increases are due to the police improving their identification and recording of hate crime offences and more people coming forward to report these crimes rather than a genuine increase".

For hate crimes motivated by disability, sexual orientation, and transgender identity, the Home Office said it believed year-on-year increases mainly reflected better reporting and recording of crimes.

The overall figure of 80,393 for 2016/17 is the highest since figures of hate crimes were first collected in 2011. The Home Office said the proportions summed to more than 100% as it was possible for a hate crime offence to have more than one motivating factor.

There were also rises after the Westminster Bridge, Manchester Arena and London Bridge attacks this year.

The majority of crimes recorded, 78%, were connected to racial hatred, followed by that of sexual orientation (11%), religion (7%), disability (7%), and transgender identity (2%). "This pattern is again repeated with the Finsbury Park attack on the 19 June 2017", the Home Office report notes.

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Figures tracking the outcome of the 80,393 offences recorded to the police in 2016-17 show that only 16% of "flagged" offences led to somebody being charged or summonsed for the incident.

Reacting to the increase, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "There is absolutely no place for hate crime in our society and this Government is taking action to tackle it".

The new figures come after it was revealed fewer alleged hate criminals were prosecuted past year.

"The Tories have made great claims about tackling burning injustices".

"But no-one in Britain should have to suffer violent prejudice, and indications that there was a genuine rise in the number of offences immediately following each of this year's terror attacks is undoubtedly concerning", she said.

The Home Office said it was working to crack down on those who commit hate crimes, with extra help for some communities, including a commitment to provide an additional £2.4m to protect places of worship.

The Crown Prosecution Service published data on Tuesday showing record numbers of tougher hate crime sentences being passed by the courts.

The Crown Prosecution Service noted in its report there the number of hate crime cases being referred by the police were still around 13,000 per year, nearly ten percent less than in 2014/15, leaving Jewish groups with concerns.

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