LONDON: The number of hate crimes in England and Wales has increased by 29%, according to Home Office statistics.
There were 80,393 offences in 2016-17, compared with 62,518 in 2015-16, the largest increase since the Home Office began recording figures in 2011-12.
The biggest rise was in disability and transgender hate crimes, but this was due to better crime recording and more people coming forward, the report said. It also noted a spike in hate crime around the time of the EU referendum. There was also a rise after the Westminster Bridge attack in March this year.
The Home Office report said: “The increase over the last year is thought to reflect both a genuine rise in hate crime around the time of the EU referendum and following the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack, as well as ongoing improvements in crime reporting by police.”
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- Disability or transgender hate crimes increased by 53% and 45% respectively, but the majority of hate crimes were racially motivated.
The report said the rise “suggests that the increases are due to the police improving their identification and recording of hate crime offences and more people coming forward to report these crimes rather than a genuine increase”.
Some crimes were recorded as having more than one motivating factor. Sexual orientation hate crime was the second most commonly recorded hate crime in the 37 out of 44 forces that provided statistics.
In August, the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) said it had registered “brief increases” in hate crime reports following attacks at Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge, but not after the one at Finsbury Park.
The incidents were reported to forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
62,685 (78%) were race hate crimes
9,157 (11%) were sexual orientation hate crimes
5,949 (7%) were religious hate crimes
5,558 (7%) were disability hate crimes
1,248 (2%) were transgender hate crimes