The number of hate crimes recorded in the UK between 2014 and 2015 rose to 52,528; an increase of 18% when compared to the year before and a record level. This figure only represents those crimes that are reported to the police, and the nature of these attacks means that there are likely to be many more that are not reported. In fact, officials have calculated that as many as 220,000 hate crimes may be committed every year.
Hate crimes are crimes that are perpetrated against people because of their race, gender, sexuality, or other factor. The most common type of hate crime is that of racist attacks, and these can range from assault to public disorder and vandalism charges. Offences against the person are common, but they are only one form of hate crime that may be recorded.
Criminal Solicitors Manchester
Many victims of hate crime are afraid to come forward, according to experts, because they fear retribution against themselves of their family, and also because they would rather that the incident is brought to a conclusion sooner. There is also some degree of distrust between victims and police forces, and this means that some experts believe only around a quarter of incidents that can be labelled as hate crime are actually reported. Using the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which is also used by the Office for National Statistics to compile crime data, it would appear that around 220,000 hate crimes are committed every year.
80% of the 52,528 crimes that were recorded were classified as race hate crimes, although it has also been reported that the number of crimes committed against the LGBT community has increased too. Religion and disability are among the other reasons for hate crimes.
The announcement coincided with an announcement by PM David Cameron, in which he said that hate crimes were unacceptable and said that they would be recorded separately in police files and records for the first time. The Home Office has said that the increase shows that more people are willing to report hate crimes, and also that there was a greater understanding of what constitutes a hate crime.