NEWS
16/10/2018 10:35 BST | Updated 16/10/2018 11:23 BST

Hate Crime Soars To Nearly 100,000 Incidents In A Year

The figures are more than double those of 2012/13.

PA Wire/PA Images

Hate crime figures have more than doubled in five years and rose by almost a fifth in 2017/18 on the previous year, new figures show.

Police in England and Wales recorded a 17% rise in incidents in the latest period, with three quarters – 71,251 – recorded as race hate crimes.

In total, there were 94,098 offences.

Data from the Home Office showed 12% of hate crimes – 11,638 – targeted sexual orientation, 9%, or 8,336, were religious hate crimes, and 8%, or 7,226, targeted people living with a disability.

Some 1,651 (2%) were transgender hate crimes.

Religious hate crime saw the sharpest rise, with a 40% increase from 5,949 incidents in 2016/17.

The Independent

Meanwhile, transgender hate crimes were up 32%, offences against disabled people grew 30% and crimes against sexual orientation rose 27%.

Terrorist attacks in 2017 and the Brexit referendum the year before are thought to have triggered spikes in the crime, defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as hostility towards a person because of their disability, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

The jump has also been attributed to improvements in the way the crimes are recorded.

Some offences were recorded more than once because they have more than one motivation.

Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary, blamed police cuts for the increase.

“The fact that hate crime has more than doubled in the last five years must serve as an urgent wake up call. We must stand up to hatred and discrimination wherever it is found,” she said.

“The Tories promised to tackle burning injustices but they are clearly not tackling the injustice of people being attacked simply because of their religion, sexuality, the colour of their skin or their disability.

“Tory cuts to the police continue to undermine the fight against crime. Labour will hire 10,000 extra police officers to work in the community to help tackle all forms of hate crime.”

Labour MP David Lammy wrote on Twitter: “Yet another shameful surge in hate crimes. This comes from the very top.

“Divisive, xenophobic rhetoric from politicians trickles down into abuse and violence on our streets. We can do so much better than this.”

Yahoo
Home Secretary Sajid Javid

It comes as the Home Office revealed it would launch a “wide ranging” review of hate crime which could see misandry – hostility against men – introduced as a strand, alone with misogyny and ageism. 

The Law Commission review will evaluate the effectiveness of current legislation and see if misogyny and ageism could be considered for inclusion.

Government measures also include £1.5m dedicated to educational programmes in schools to “eradicate prejudice”, challenge discriminatory beliefs and encourage victims to report.

Some 45 places of worship are also to receive £800,000 to improve security through the Places of Worship scheme, which protects religious sites vulnerable to hate attacks.

Suggestions that misandry could be considered by the Commission were met with mixed reviews.

Twitter user @srpitchford wrote: “So offenses against men aren’t in here as a hate crime because they aren’t sure if it classifies? Seriously? We women want to be treated equal right? Well it should be equal across the board, not pick and choose!!!!”

Jonathan Boyd wrote: “Proposal for misandry to become a hate crime in UK. Boo-hoo-hoo, pity the poor men: Who earn more than women; Who own the majority of the world’s capital; Who control the majority of seats in legislative assemblies; Who set the rules for all the world’s major religions...”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said of the government plans: “Hate crime goes directly against the long-standing British values of unity, tolerance and mutual respect – and I am committed to stamping this sickening behaviour out.

“Our refreshed action plan sets out how we will tackle the root causes of prejudice and racism, support hate crime victims and ensure offenders face the full force of the law.”

The figures also come as courts were found to be handing down tougher sentences in 67% of hate crime cases.

The CPS Hate Crime report, out today, shows some 7,700 cases saw sentences “uplifted” after prosecutors made applications.

This compares with just 2.8% of cases attracting an uplifted sentence 10 years ago.

Courts must pass increased sentences where there is evidence that offences were motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person based on the above factors.

The report shows the conviction rate for hate crimes has risen to 85%, while prosecutions for such crimes fell by 1% between 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Referrals to the CPS from police for race and religious hate crimes rose nearly 5% to 11,200 in the same period.

Chris Long, chief crown prosecutor and CPS hate crime champion said: “We know being a victim of hate crime is particularly distressing because of the personal nature of the incident and the CPS is committed to robustly protecting these cases.

“The continuing increase in the number of offenders who receive increased sentences is a testament to the work of the CPS in building the cases correctly an providing the courts with the information they need to sentence appropriately.

The figures coincide with National Hate Crime Awareness week running until October 20.