Hate crimes recorded by police have more than doubled in the past six years, with a 10 per cent increase across England and Wales in 2018-19 which has taken numbers to a new record high.
What is hate crime?
A hate crime is a criminal offence which the victim or any anyone else, thinks is motivated by the offenders hostility or prejudice towards the victim based on a their actual or perceived disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation or religion.
It doesn’t always include physical violence. Verbal abuse, threats or name-calling either in person, over the phone, via post, e-mail or social media is also a crime. It is also an offence to for someone to stir up hatred against a specific person or group of people based on their actual or perceived disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation or religion. That could be in words, pictures, videos, music, and includes information posted on websites.
There were a total of almost 103,400 hate crimes recorded by police across England and Wales in 2018-19, three-quarters were racially motivated which increased by 11 per cent this year to 79,000 offences. Religious hate crimes increased by 3 per cent to 8,566 incidents. There was also an increase of 14 per cent in hate crimes against those with a disability where 8,256 were reported.
However, hate crimes towards the LGBT community saw the biggest rise with a 37 per cent increase in transphobic offenses where 2,333 incidents were reported and the second-biggest rise was for crimes motivated by sexual orientation which is up by 25 per cent with 14,500 offenses taking place.
The Home Office believe that the increase is driven by the improvements in the way police record incidents providing victims with more confidence to report crimes however, a “genuine increases cannot be ruled out”.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, the national lead for hate crime, said: “The 10 per cent increase in hate crime reported today is in part due to increased confidence of victims to report to the police and continuing efforts by police to improve recording. However, these statistics also represent real rises in hate crime, and we are particularly concerned about the sharp increases in LGB and transgender abuse”.
Laura Russell, a director at the charity Stonewall, said lesbian, gay, bi and transgender people “still face hatred simply because of who they are. These figures are still likely to only represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hate crimes against LGBT people”. She added “the significant rise in hate crimes against trans people shows the consequences of a society where transphobia is everywhere.”
Even though more people are reporting incidents of hate crime, there continues to be some reluctance amongst the LGBTQ+ community to speak to police and this is why the Hate Crime App Reporting Survey was created. It is used to record Hate Crime or Hate Crime Incidents or Anti Social Behaviour that have not been reported to authorities to help identify the barriers to reporting and identify locations and hot spots where crime is taking place. You can also use the App to give feedback on your experience of reporting to Police / Authorities. You can identify the location post code and address by tapping the location on Google maps for example, you can copy and paste the address using you smart phone, tablet or computer.
Hilary Cooke from the Medway Sexual Diversity Centre who is a support of the survey explains “We need to stop hate crime by reporting it. You can use the hatecrime.app to report it to True Vision or Kent Police and complete the survey to give feedback on reporting or why you have not reported it. This will help identify the barriers to reporting and help identify areas to improve the service”.
If you have been a victim of hate crime or ASB is affecting you and your family please report it. You can visit www.hatecrime.app to report to Kent police or True Vision. If you choose not to report it please complete the Hate Crime Survey in order to help identify the barriers to reporting and hot spots where crime is taking place.
You can also report Hate Crime and Hate Incidents to the police via 101 or 999 in an emergency.