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Religious hate crime up 45%

Religious hate crime up 45%

Categories: Latest News

Friday October 17 2014

BBC NewsThe Guardian, and Metro all report on the release of hate crime statistics for April 2013 to March 2014 comprising of data supplied to the Home Office by the 43 police forces in England and Wales and the British Transport Police.

The report details the number of hate crimes occurring in the period across the five monitored strands: race, religion, gender, disability, transgender identity and sexual orientation.

The Home Office’s statistical bulletin reveals overall reported hate crime in the period was 44,480, an increase by 5% on the previous year.

The report also notes that there was as increase in hate crimes in all five monitored strands between 2012/13 and 2013/14. Furthermore, the report affirms that race hate crime remains the most commonly recorded strand of hate crime across all police forces.

In almost 90% of police forces, religious hate crime was either the third or fourth most commonly recorded strand of hate crime.

Of the total number of hate crimes, 37,484 (84%) were race hate crimes and 2,273 (5%) were religious hate crimes.

There was a percentage increase of 4% in the number of race hate crimes from 2012/13 to 2013/14 (up from 35,889 to 37,484) and an increase of 45% in the number of religious hate crimes from 2012/13 to 2013/14 (up from 1,573 to 2,273).

The report notes that approximately 75% of the increase in overall hate crime over the last year comprised of racially or religiously motivated hate crime, accounting for three quarters of all hate crimes reported to police forces in England and Wales over the period.

Although the report acknowledges the Office for National Statistics’ speculation that recent increases in some categories of police recorded crime are due to improvements in police recording rather than a genuine increase in crime, it highlights that evidence indicates that the increase in race and religious hate crimes may also be due to higher levels of hate crime in the aftermath of the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south London in May 2013.

The report, however, suggests the after effects are marginal and that it is likely that 5% of the increase in overall hate crime between 2012/13 and 2013/14 can be attributed to the incident last May.

It is particularly interesting that the report does not reflect upon the level of  hate crime reporting extensively. The low level of reporting of hate crime to the police was noted in the Home Office’s hate crime report last year and under-reporting of hate crime has also been observed in a research study by the University of Leicester’s Hate Crime Project.

The report also provides a breakdown of hate crime figures by police force. For example, it highlights that the Metropolitan Police recorded a 45% increase in religious hate crimes from 631 to 915 offences between 2012/13 and 2013/14.

The report also includes figures from 18 police forces (Avon and Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, City of London, Cleveland, Derbyshire, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumbria, North Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Thames Valley) who submitted hate crime data through a new data collection system, Data Hub.

As this did not include data accounts from the Metropolitan Police which accounts for approximately one quarter of police recorded hate crime, the report notes that the analysis may not be representative of all police forces.

These figures reveal that public order offences and violence against a person were the two most common offences associated with hate crime for all strands except religion. In particular, public order offences amounted to 60% of race hate crimes.

For religious hate crime, public order offences were the most common (46%) followed by more serious criminal activities such as criminal damage and arson (25%).

In addition, the report discloses figures on racist incidents which includes any crime perceived to be racist by the victim or another person. These figures cover more incidents of crimes than the race hate crime collection of data due to the additional inclusion of data from non-notifiable offences (some types of anti-social behaviour) and incidents that were not subsequently recorded as crimes.

The figures indicate that there were 47,571 racist incidents reported to the police forces in England and Wales, excluding the British Transport Police. It concludes that the number of reported racist incidents has remained stable for the past three years following a drop in incidents between 2009/10 and 2011/12.

The Home Office report comes during National Hate Crime Awareness Week in which many police forces are undertaking activities and public awareness drives to help the public understand hate crimes and to assure them of the seriousness of such incidents and the need to report them to the police.

In the report by the Tackling Radicalisation Taskforce, which was established following Lee Rigby’s brutal murder, recommendations on pursuing bias motivated crime was explicitly mentioned stating that police will ensure “ensure that the extremist dimension of hate crimes is properly logged and taken into amount when conducting their investigations”.

The Government’s progress report on hate crime, published last year, iterated some of the activities the Coalition has undertaken to tackle anti-Muslim hatred including the establishment of the first ever cross-Government working group on anti-Muslim hatred; the launch of Tell MAMA, holding the UK’s first ever Srebrenica Memorial Day; and outreach/training activities such as social media workshops in Birmingham and Leeds. and ‘a number of regional road shows around the UK in March and April 2014 to promote the work of integration and anti-Muslim hatred, and to engage with the communities to find out what more Government can do.’


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