Race hate crimes on record high in England, Wales

Increases in hate crime were seen around the EU Referendum in June 2016 and the terrorist attacks in 2017.

Published: 12th October 2021 08:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2021 08:10 PM   |  A+A-

Hate crimes

For representational purposes (Photo | AFP)


LONDON: Racially motivated hate crimes registered a 12 per cent increase over the past year across England and Wales and overall reported hate crimes rose by 9 per cent, according to latest UK government figures released on Tuesday.

Hate crime in Britain is defined as any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic.

The UK Home Office collates annual data on such crimes and the latest statistics for 2020-21 show a new record high for race hate, also impacted by the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the killing of African-American George Floyd in the US.

"There were 124,091 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales in year ending March 2021," the Home Office bulletin notes.

"As in previous years, the majority of hate crimes were racially motivated, accounting for around three-quarters of such offences (74 per cent; 85,268 offences); these types of hate crime increased by 12 per cent between year ending March 2020 and year ending March 2021," it adds.

The report notes that better recording by police forces and growing awareness of hate crime is likely to have led to improved identification of such offences.

It notes: "Although these improvements are thought to be the main drivers for the increases seen, there appear to have been short-term genuine rises in hate crime following certain trigger events.

Increases in hate crime were seen around the EU Referendum in June 2016 and the terrorist attacks in 2017.

"There was also an increase in public order hate crimes during the summer of 2020 following the widespread Black Lives Matter protests and far-right counter-protests."

Meanwhile, the data shows that religious hate crimes fell by 18 per cent (to 5,627 offences), down from 6,856 in the previous year, with Muslims accounting for the largest target group (45 per cent) followed by Jewish (22 per cent).

Sexual orientation hate crimes increased 7 per cent (to 17,135), disability hate crimes by 9 per cent (to 9,208) and transgender identity hate crimes by 3 per cent (to 2,630) – described by authorities as percentage increases that are smaller than seen in recent years.


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