OFFENCES RISE SINCE WESTMINSTER TERROR ATTACK
HATE crimes have risen by 29 per cent in the past year, latest figures from the Home Office show, with offences rising following the terror attack on Westminster Bridge in March this year and in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum vote in June 2016.
There were 80,393 offences recorded by the police in 2016-17, compared to 62,518 similar offences in 2015/16, the largest percentage increase seen since the series began in 2011/12.
Home secretary Amber Rudd said there was “absolutely no place for hate crime in our society”. A vast majority of hate crime offences (78 per cent or 62,685) were motivated by race, while seven per cent (5,949 crimes) were religious hate crimes.
Hardyal Dhindsa is the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) national lead on Hate Crime and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Derbyshire.
He said: “We must not allow acts of terror, such as those that took place in Westminster, London Bridge and Manchester, to induce further acts of hate,” adding that “all PCCs would like to encourage victims to come forward and report incidents, confident in the knowledge that the police will take their experiences seriously”.
Last week religious institutions across England and Wales including mosques and temples were awarded funding from the Home Office to tackle hate crime and raise awareness of the issue.
At the start of the sixth annual Hate Crime Awareness Week, the home secretary announced that over £750,000 of funding would be given to prevent hate crime and protect places of worship including 19 mosques, three temples and four gurdwaras.
Rudd said: “I am very proud to announce that this year considerable support is going to vital projects that deal with disability hate crime, which we sadly believe is significantly under-reported.
“I hope by raising awareness of these crimes, these projects will play a vital role in helping to eradicate them.”
The home secretary added: “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.
“But no one in Britain should have to suffer violent prejudice, and indications that there was a genuine rise in the number of offences immediately following each of this year’s terror attacks are undoubtedly concerning.”
The funding comes part of a wider initiative which includes seven community projects working in schools to improve education on hate crime by challenging beliefs and attitudes.
Other key areas that the project will focus on include increasing the reporting of hate crimes and improving support for the victims.