More than two-thirds of hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales in the year to March 2022 were racist.
Government data showed 109,843 out of the total 155,841 hate crimes recorded during the period were racist. There was a 26 per cent year-on-year spike in overall hate crimes and the Home Office suggested it could be because of better recording by the police. Fewer crimes had been recorded during pandemic restrictions in 2020-21.
Some 42 per cent of religious hate crimes were targeted against Muslims with 3,459 out of the 8,615 offences falling in the category aimed at them. The figure is the largest for a religious group.
According to the data, the second most commonly targeted group were Jewish people who were at the receiving end of 23 per cent of religious hate crimes (1,919 offences).
There were 301 such offences against Sikhs and 161 against Hindus.
Forty-three territorial police forces of England and Wales and the British Transport Police supplied the hate crime data to the Home Office. However, Greater Manchester Police could not provide their statistics for the year ending March 2020 following the implementation of a new IT system in July 2019.
Hate crimes targeting people’s sexual orientation rose by 42 per cent to 26,152.
Anti-racism charity Race Equality Foundation’s Jabeer Butt expressed concern about the trend, saying, “Alarm bells should be ringing for anyone looking at these figures.”
“The rise in all kinds of hate crime – with racially motivated hate crime being the highest – speaks volumes about attitudes towards minoritised people in England and Wales. There can be no room for this kind of behaviour in modern Britain,” Butt told the BBC.
Leni Morris, from anti-abuse charity Galop, told the corporation, “Some will try to say this increase is just showing that the LGBT+ community’s trust in the police is improving – that this is not an increase in incidents but in people coming forward.”
“We strongly do not believe that to be the case. Demand for our hate-crime support services, including the National LGBT+ Hate Crime Helpline, has grown by 19% in just the last six months,” Morris said.