Hate crimes in Wales up by 22%, Home Office data shows

18 October, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • Hate crime

Over the same period religious hate crime increased by 35 percent (up 1,549 to 5,949 offences), the Home Office said.

Police said the number of hate crimes being recorded in the past year had in fact skyrocketed, rising 29 percent, partly in response to the aftermath of the Brexit debate and attacks by radical Islamists in Manchester and London Bridge.

However, in 2016-17, the number of people prosecuted for "hate crimes" in England and Wales was 14,480, compared to 15,442 in the previous year - a 6.2 per cent fall.

Race was deemed to be a motivating factor in almost 80% of recorded hate crime incidents - 62,685 incidents.

The spike in reported hate crimes from 62,518 in 2015/16 was linked by Home Office officials to the divisive Brexit referendum and multiple terror attacks.

The report also noted that race hate crimes, which made up the vast bulk of all hate crimes, had increased after a man drove a auto into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London killing four people before stabbing a policeman to death outside parliament.

Analysis of provisional daily data supplied by 38 police forces to the Home Office national data hub between April 2016 and August 2017 showed a spike in daily hate crime after the Greater Manchester attack on 22 May.

One of the spikes coincided with the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union, with reported hate crime offences up 44% in July 2016 compared with the same month the year before.

Hate crimes are categorised as offences motivated by someone's hostility or prejudice towards an individual's personal characteristics.

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The majority of crimes recorded, 78%, were connected to racial hatred, followed by that of sexual orientation (11%), religion (7%), disability (7%), and transgender identity (2%).

"The level of offences decreased in the following days (of the Westminster Bridge attack), but again increased with the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks on the 3 June 2017".

Figures tracking the outcome of the 80,393 offences recorded to the police in 2016-17 show that only 16% of "flagged" offences led to somebody being charged or summonsed for the incident.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: "The drop in referrals recorded previous year has impacted on the number of completed prosecutions in 2016-17".

"The Tories have made great claims about tackling burning injustices".

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said there was "absolutely no place for hate crime in our society" and said the rise after 2017's terror attacks were "undoubtedly concerning".

The statistics show police recorded 80,393 offences in which they believed hate against a minority group was "a motivating factor".

The offences are broken down into five categories: race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the Commons Home Affairs Committee, said: "It is welcome that hate crime is being met with tougher sentences, but it is very troubling that prosecutions are falling even though reported hate crime is going up". "Reported hate crimes have increased but prosecutions have fallen".

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