Hate Crime Records Spike in the UK, Government Report

Francis Osborne
October 20, 2017

United Kingdom authorities say hate crimes spiked after Britain's vote to leave the European Union and following several extremist attacks this year, raising concerns about a backlash against Muslims, immigrants and others groups.

There were 80,393 hate crimes recorded in England and Wales in the past year, compared to 62,518 the year before. The report notes that there was a spike in the number of racially or religiously aggravated offenses after the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack in March, when a man killed 5 people after driving a vehicle into pedestrians and stabbing a police officer.

Despite the rise in offenses, prosecutions for hate crimes actually declined in the year to 2016/2017, from 15,442 to 14,480 people.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: "The drop in referrals recorded a year ago has impacted on the number of completed prosecutions in 2016-17".

Hate crime rose 29 per cent in the United Kingdom following terror attacks earlier this year, the Home Office has said, as higher levels of victim reporting drove figures up.

"And we are working with the police at a local and national level to understand the reasons for the overall fall in referrals in the past two years".

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The official figures showed that there were 80,393 offences recorded by police in 2016/17, an increase from 62,518 hate crimes recorded in 2015/16.

This peak was higher than the previous monthly peak of 5,500 in July 2016, seen in the aftermath of the referendum in favour of Briatain's exit or "Brexit" from the European Union (EU).

Yet, back in 2007-08, when the CPS began compiling the report, just 2.9 per cent of case related to these protected categories.

As hate crimes are intrinsically linked to someone's identity - race, nationality or faith are the main factors - when these identities intersect it makes certain groups even more vulnerable to attacks, such as visibly Muslim women.

"Sentence uplifts are important because they demonstrate that the CPS has built the case effectively, the hate crime element has been recognised and the perpetrator has received a more severe sentence as a result".

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