• Tuesday, March 05, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Two in five hate crimes in England and Wales target Muslims: report

The highest number of religious hate crimes were reported last year

Representational image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

MAJORITY of hate crimes in England and Wales in the year ending March 2023 were directed at Muslims, the latest data revealed.

There were 3,452 attacks against Muslims, accounting for 39 per cent of all reported hate crimes during the period, the Home Office data published on Thursday (5) stated.

Notably, this marks the highest number of religious hate crimes reported since recording began in March 2012. Overall, there was a nine per cent increase in religious hate crimes between March 2022 and March 2023, with the total rising from 8,602 to 9,387.

In the past year, the second most targeted group was Jews, who experienced 1,510 hate crimes, while Christians were victims of 649 incidents. Additionally, there were 308 assaults against Sikhs, 291 incidents targeting Hindus, and 19 attacks against Buddhists.

According to the report, the police recorded a total of 145,214 hate crimes during the period, marking a five per cent decrease compared to the previous year. The majority of these hate crimes were racially motivated, constituting 70 per cent of all such offenses, with 101,906 racially motivated incidents recorded. This represents a six per cent decrease from the previous year.

The Home Office attributed the decline in race hate crimes to a reduction in incidents flagged as racially or religiously aggravated public fear, alarm, or distress when reported as hate crimes.

On the other hand, transgender hate crimes saw an 11 per cent increase, totalling 4,732 offenses, which is the highest since recording began in March 2012. This increase may be due to greater awareness and reporting, given the increased public discussion around transgender issues over the past year.

The data also revealed that more than half (51 per cent) of the hate crimes recorded by the police were categorised as public order offenses, while 41 per cent were violence against the person offenses, and five percent were recorded as criminal damage and arson offenses.

The report indicated that the overall proportion of racially or religiously aggravated offenses resulting in a charge or summons remained at eight percent, consistent with the previous year.

“There is no place for hate in our society, it does not reflect the values of modern Britain, and we remain committed to ensuring these abhorrent offenses are stamped out, which is why we have a robust legislative framework to tackle it wherever it is found,” a Home Office spokesperson told The Guardian.

“These statistics show there has been an overall reduction in hate crimes recorded by police, and the numbers of sexual orientation, race, and disability hate crimes all fell. While the increase in transgender hate crime may be due to a genuine rise, the biggest driver is likely to be general improvements in police recording.”

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