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Focus on faith based hate crime in West Yorkshire

Focus on faith based hate crime in West Yorkshire

Categories: Latest News

Monday January 12 2015

The Halifax Courier reports on the focus on faith based hate crime through the month of January by West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson.

Since November 2014, the police force and PCC’s office have been focusing on the different strands of hate crime covering gender identity hate crime in November and disability hate crime in December. This month, to coincide with World Religion Day on 25 January, campaign activity will focus on faith hate crime.

Home Office statistics on hate crime in England and Wales in 2014 found that religious hate crime had risen 45% in the year 2013-2014. Furthermore, an FOI request submitted by the Halifax Courier to West Yorkshire Police revealed that hate crime in the Calderdale area had increased steadily over 3 years from 126 in 2011-12, to 132 in 2012-13, and to 149 in 2013-14.

From an FOI request submitted to West Yorkshire Police by mend, of the 62 religious hate crimes in West Yorkshire in 2013-2014, as documented in the Home Office report, 25 were Islamophobic hate crimes. Moreover, of the 1,651 race-based hate crimes, 458 crimes involved victims of Pakistani or Bangladeshi background, although the actual figure could much higher because self-reported ethnicity is a voluntary category and not all crimes record the victim’s ethnicity.

The local paper reports on the steps being taken by the local force as part of its campaign on tackling faith based hate crime noting, “At the start of the campaign a number of sub-categories were introduced for the recording of faith incidents and crimes to get a better understanding of the impact of national and international events on local communities and improve and target services for victims. Ongoing work is also taking place with officers and staff to raise awareness of the distinction between race and faith hate crimes and how best to record such incidents.”

The better recording of faith based hate crime has been one of our key campaigns in our work with Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure that the lack of disaggregation of the religion category in official statistics does not prevent an accurate picture to be formed of the number of Islamophobic hate crimes across police force areas.


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