LONDON: There has been a 10% rise in hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales. There were 103,379 offences in 2018-19 – a record number – according to Home Office figures.
Transgender hate crime went up 37%, while for offences motivated by sexual orientation the rise was 25%, by disability 14% and by religion 3%. Race hate crimes accounted for around three-quarters of offences (78,991) and rose by 11% on the previous year.
Over half (54%) of the hate crimes recorded by the police were for public order offences and a further third (36%) were for violence against the person offences. Five per cent were recorded as criminal damage and arson offences.
Hate crime is defined as an offence which the victim or any other person considers to be driven by hostility towards their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity. It can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, as well as damage to property.
Last week (Saturday 12 to Saturday 19 October), the Metropolitan Police Service supported national Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Superintendent Waheed Khan, The Met’s Lead Responsible Officer (LRO) for hate crime said: “Hate Crime Awareness Week was a national week of action, which takes place every October to raise awareness of hate crime.
“It aims to bring people together to stand in solidarity with those affected by hate crime, support them and raise awareness, as well as prevent hate crime with our communities across London and challenge hate crime in all its forms.
“London is such a diverse and tolerant city, but too many still feel marginalised, or worse intimidated to go about their daily lives due to their race, faith, sexual orientation, gender or disability.
“Hate crime incidents may involve a physical attack, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse, insults or online abuse using social media and it is a scourge on our communities.
He added; “We would urge hate crime victims who have not spoken to police to come forward and tell us about incidents so they can be fully investigated.”
Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of a hate crime is asked to call police on 101 or by tweeting @MetCC. Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.
New Met officers
The Home Office has announced it will fund 1,369 new police officers for the Met. Like every force, we welcome news that police officer numbers can grow. The demands across all of policing are acute and all growth is good news. It will help us put more officers on the streets and reduce violent crime.
We’re recruiting hard in London and we are already seeing success with large intakes of new officers joining us. We are very confident that we can recruit the additional 1,369 new officer posts which we have been allocated by the Home Office quickly. As we’ve seen only too vividly this week, the demands of policing London are particularly acute.