Record number of hate crimes reported to police
The number of hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales has hit its highest level on record, with a 12 per cent rise in racially motivated incidents, official figures show.
There were 124,091 hate crimes recorded in the year to March 2021, according to Home Office statistics.
This comprises 92,052 race hate crimes, 6,377 religious hate crimes, 18,596 sexual-orientation hate crimes, 9,943 disability hate crimes and 2,799 transgender hate crimes.
Numbers have risen each year since records began in 2011-12.
The Home Office said the rises have been driven by improvements in recording, growing awareness and a better identification of what constitutes a hate crime.
Excluding the 2021 figures from Greater Manchester Police, which was unable to provide data for the year to March 2020 as a comparison, there were 114,958 hate crimes recorded in the year to March 2021 – an annual rise of nine per cent.
Around three-quarters of these crimes – 85,268 offences – were racially motivated, an annual rise of 12 per cent or more than 9,000 more incidents.
Disability related hate crimes rose by nine per cent, sexual orientation-related hate crimes by seven per cent, while transgender identity-related hate crimes were up three per cent.
The Home Office said those last three percentage changes were lower than seen in recent years,
Hate crimes linked to religion were down 18 per cent compared to the previous year – the second annual fall in a row.
More than half (52 per cent) of the crimes recorded were for public order offences.
The Home Office said there was an increase in public order hate crimes during the summer of 2020 following the Black Lives Matter protests and far-right counter-protests.
Chief executive of the Race Equality Foundation, Jabeer Butt, said: “The latest hate crime figures paint a bleak picture for equality in the UK.
“The fact that almost three quarters of hate crimes were racially motivated shows just how far is left to go towards building a society that is truly tolerant and anti-racist.
“While some of the 9% overall increase in hate crime can be attributed to improvements in crime recording, it is all too clear that too many people still face horrific attacks simply on the basis of who they are.
“The Government’s Hate Crime Action Plan has clearly fallen short and needs to be revisited as a matter of urgency.”