United Kingdom police numbers show surge in hate crime

Hate crime prosecutions are down despite huge rise in reports

In previous years, the Home Office attributed increases in recorded hate crimes largely to better recording of such offences by the police, and better reporting of crimes, but this year has said it believes there was a genuine increase in the number of crimes in the wake of both the European Union referendum vote in 2016 and terror attacks in the early months of 2017. United Kingdom police forms don't exclusively record incidents of hate as offences in themselves, but instead are also required to record when other offences - such as assault, property damage, or public disorder - are fuelled by hate, whether on the grounds of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Hate crime rose 29 per cent in the United Kingdom following terror attacks earlier this year, the Home Office has said, as higher levels of victim reporting drove figures up.

Some crimes were recorded as having more than one motivating factor.

Reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation rose 27% to 9,157 recorded offences, while religiously motivated offences saw an increase of 35% to 5,157.

Hate crime targeting Muslims has seen a "significant spike" following another terrorist attack in June 2017 in London, the capital's mayor, Sadiq Khan, said previously.

Mustafa Field, a director of the Faiths Forum for London group which organised a vigil after the Westminster attack, said: "Perpetrators need to know that such offences will not be tolerated in our communities, and that they will be dealt with under the full force of the law".

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.

She said: "I am heartened that more victims are more confident to come forward and report incidents of hate crime, and that police identification and recording of all crime is improving".

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 shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, said the rise in hate crime was unacceptable, especially after a drop in the number of police referrals has seen a fall in prosecutions.

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) said that of the 14,480 hate crimes prosecuted by the CPS a year ago, a "paltry" number were for anti-Semitism.

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

The Home Office said it was working to crack down on those who commit hate crimes, with extra help for some communities, including a commitment to provide an additional £2.4m to protect places of worship.

The reduction in the number of prosecutions is likely to raise concerns that authorities are not doing enough to tackle hate crime.

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

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