Shocking figures reveal a monumental rise in hate crimes since 2016 in the Thames Valley Area.
A hate crime is defined as “any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic.”
There are five types of hate crime that are monitored by the Home Office: those based on the victim’s perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or because they were transgender. The vast majority of these—almost 80%—involve race.
In 2016, only 76 hate crimes were recorded in the Thames Valley.
In 2017, 135 were recorded followed up by 171 in 2018.
This marks a 125% increase.
There are two alternative ways of measuring hate crime – one comes from a survey of victims in households (the Crime Survey for England and Wales) and the other comes from the police (police recorded crime).
Our figures are from the Police as result of a Freedom of Information [FOI] request.
94,000 hate crimes were recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2017/18. That’s an increase of 17% on the previous year and more than double the number five years ago.
The majority of hate crimes recorded by the police were based on race, roughly amounting to 76%.
There was a “clear spike in hate crime” around the time of the EU referendum, according to the Home Office: both during the campaign and after the result was announced.
You can view the Home Office's report here: https://bit.ly/2CQyaCa
The Home Office also says offences related to xenophobia specifically increased around this time.
Thames Valley Police however, have played down the link.
They said: "We have had a campaign called Hidden Harm in place since the start of 2018 and this has focused on crimes and incidents that are under-reported. This would include hate crime.
"We also have the Victims’ First Reporting system which is led by the PCC.
"Thames Valley Police encourage the reporting of hate crimes and we strive for an increase in reporting so we can support the victims and investigate the crimes to bring offenders to justice."
Here are the break down of 'types of hate crime' nationally during 2018:
71,251 (76%) race hate crimes;
11,638 (12%) sexual orientation hate crimes;
8,336 (9%) religious hate crimes;
7,226 (8%) disability hate crimes; and
1,651 (2%) transgender hate crimes.