HATE CRIME DOUBLES

HATE CRIME DOUBLES

Hate Crime has more than doubled in England and Wales in six years. 103,379 such crimes were recorded in 2018-19, with almost 10% religiously motivated.

EXPLAINER

Hate crime has more than doubled in England and Wales in just six years.

New Home Office figures show that 103,379 hate crimes were recorded in 2018/19, an increase of ten percent on the previous year.

A majority of those crimes – 78,911 – were racially motivated.  A further 8,566 were religiously motivated, nearly half of them against Muslims, and around 18 percent against Jews.

The Home Office report concluded that the increase over recent years had been driven mainly by improvements in crime recording by the police, but there had been “spikes” following the EU referendum in 2016, and the terrorist attacks of 2017.

The charity Tell Mama says it received 1,282 reports of anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK during 2018, and that it was informed of a further 1,891 incidents by 20 police forces in the UK with whom it shares data.

A Jewish charity, the Community Security Trust, which monitors antisemitism in the UK, said there had been 892 incidents during the first half of 2019, an increase of ten percent over the same period last year.

COMMENT

Dr Chris Allen, Associate Professor in Hate Studies, Leicester University: 

“The statistics show that for the third year in succession, religiously motivated hate crimes have not only increased in number but have again reached record levels. While some try to explain this as a result of better reporting procedures, doing so is over simplistic. From our research at the Centre for Hate Studies, one cannot underestimate the impact of Brexit and the divisive rhetoric employed by politicians and others in the public spaces. Affording permission to hate a whole range of ‘Others’ – especially Muslims and immigrants – it is likely that the upward trajectory of hate crimes numbers will continue for the foreseeable future.”

Dave Rich, Director of Policy at the Community Security Trust, a Jewish charity:

 “The fact that there has been such a rise in hate crime offences from 2017/18 to 2018/19 is extremely concerning though, sadly, not surprising. In light of this, the question of ‘what can be done?’ is asked with urgency.  Perhaps a firmer hand and greater cooperation across online platforms could help to stem the tide of hate incidents that occur with increasing regularity on social media, which provides an easily accessible and anonymising pulpit for those who wish to spread hate. Those in positions of political and public influence must also be more responsible with their language, as inflammatory and derogatory rhetoric against minority groups – something that has become more commonplace in mainstream political discourse over the last few years – almost invariably leads to a spike in hate crime. Furthermore, were we to see more perpetrators prosecuted for their actions, it could have the dual consequences of deterring would-be offenders from committing hate crime while boosting the confidence of victims and witnesses to report it, secure in the knowledge that some form of justice will be enacted.”

Hope Not Hate, which describes itself as a non-partisan, non-sectarian organisation committed to fighting fascism and racism:

“Britain faces a wave of hate. It is unacceptable that so many people face harassment, abuse and violence simply because of who they are. We must all redouble our efforts to turn back this tide”.

Professor Imran Awan, Professor of Criminology Birmingham City University:

“Hate crime is linked to perceptions of fear and threat. Evidence shows that such threats can often be linked back to how society perceives the ‘other’. With religious hate crime, it indicates the perpetrator’s bias and prejudice towards a specific group. For example, Islamophobia is about groups being despised and victimized because of who they are perceived to be.”

2019-11-05T10:30:55+00:00 October 31st, 2019|