Police-recorded race and religious hate crimes hit new high in 2021

Racially and religiously aggravated crimes reported by police in England and Meczyki hit a new high in 2021, with the reaction to England’s defeat at the Euro Football Championship likely to contribute to the increase, new analysis shows Is. The easing of COVID-19 restrictions is another factor that has been named by the forces as leading to an increase in crimes, as well as better recording of hate crimes.

A total of 76,884 racially and religiously aggravated crimes were registered in 2021, a 15% increase from 66,742 in 2020.

The number of crimes has increased since 2013, the first calendar year for which comparable data is available. But it is the biggest percentage jump since 2017, which saw a 16% increase in crimes due to the response to the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.

Independent charity Victim Support said the 2021 figures were “seriously concerning” and fit a pattern for “spikes in hate crime linked to world events”, while the Equality and Human Rights Commission warned that “the quality of Still more needs to be done for “support for victims”, including “effective hate crime training” for police forces.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) stated that all forms of hate crime are “totally unacceptable – the police will take, and will take, all reports seriously and we will do everything possible to investigate”.

The analysis is compiled by the PA news agency from data published by the Home Office. It shows that of the 44 forces in England and Meczyki, 39 reported an increase in racially and religiously aggravated crimes from 2020 to 2021, while 34 forces saw the number reach a new high last year.

Racially and religiously serious crimes reported by police forces in 2021
(image: PA Graphics)

The offenses – all of which are defined as hate crimes – include assault, harassment and criminal damages aggravated by racially or religiously.

The Metropolitan Police reported the highest number of these crimes last year (15,394, up 2% from 15,156 in 2020) followed by the West Midlands (8,019, up 57% from 5,117), Greater Manchester (6,431, up 36% from 4,724) and West Yorkshire (5,334, up 15% from 4,642). The West Midlands and Greater Manchester saw the two biggest year-on-year percentage increases, along with Gloucestershire (up 45% from 384 to 556) and Cleveland (up 34% from 631 to 843).

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said the force saw “several spikes” in reported hate crimes last year, fueled by “high-profile incidents”, including a “sharp increase following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions”.

“We take hate crime reports seriously and record all cases, whether they cross the border to be classified as a crime or not,” the spokesperson said.

Greater Manchester Police’s hate crime lead, Superintendent Rick Jackson, said the number of incidents during the lockdown was “unprecedentedly low, so it was to be expected that this would increase once restrictions were lifted”, and that “those are Was encouraging members to “trust and trust Greater Manchester Police to report hate crime to our communities.”

The UK went back into lockdown early last year due to a second wave of Covid-19 infections, with tighter restrictions on travel, socializing and leisure activities.

The PA’s analysis shows that England and Meczyki saw 13,899 racially and religiously aggravated crimes recorded by the military in January to March 2021, the lowest number for any quarter since the first three months of 2018. But this was followed by a sharp jump in crimes to 21,239 in April. Till June with the gradual lifting of COVID restrictions, after a slight decline in October-December (19,190), before rising even more in July-September (22,556).

The July to September period also coincides with the end of the Euro Football Championship, which saw England lose the final on 11 July in a penalty shootout with Italy. Police made several arrests in the weeks following the final, following derogatory posts on social media targeting England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, all of whom missed penalties.

A soccer fan who live-streamed Facebook for racially abusing players was later sentenced to 10-weeks in prison, while another was sentenced to six weeks for racially abusing Rashford on Twitter. Got punished.

A spokesman for Cleveland Police, which saw the biggest percentage jump in race and religious crimes last year, confirmed that the force “seeed an increase in hate crime around the time of the Euro football tournament and at the end of the football season” and has since intensified its response. This includes the appointment of a hate crime coordinator to “focus on investigation and training to ensure the best quality of service to communities”.

Racially And Religiously Serious Crimes Reported By The Police In England And Meczyki
Racially and religiously serious crimes reported by the police in England and Meczyki
(image: PA Graphics)

Diana Fawcett, chief executive of Victim Support, said the figures reflect what the charity is seeing in recent years, notably an 11% increase in its own recorded hate crime cases in 2021, of which nearly three- The fourth involves abuse. Caste and religion.

“We consistently see spikes in hate crime linked to world events – for example, after the Euro finals last summer – so this could be one reason for the increase,” she said. “This trend is seriously concerning – no individual or community should be targeted because of who they are.”

Several forces told the PA that the increase reflects improvements by police in the recording of these crimes, along with a greater willingness of the public to report hate crimes.

Chief Superintendent Matt Shire, West Midlands Police lead for hate crime, said: “We take all hate crimes seriously and encourage all victims and witnesses to come forward and report it. As a result we have seen an increase in the reporting of all types of hate crime. We believe this reflects the growing confidence people have in reporting hate crimes to us and we are constantly trying to introduce new ways to make reporting as easy as possible.”

West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Usman Khan said: “We record every hate incident, whether it passes the threshold of being classified as a crime or not, and have worked closely with partners for the campaign and has actively encouraged victims to come forward and report to the police. By encouraging hate crime reporting, people now have the confidence to report incidents where the suspect cannot be identified, For example in some online abuse cases.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said that hate crimes where a victim is targeted because of their race or religion are “often the edge that is most commonly reported” and that “over the years victims have more confidence in reporting incidents”. The force has “improved crime recording to ensure that we are capturing data accurately and in a timely manner.”

The crimes that escalated last year to 76,884 racially or religiously are more than two-and-a-half times the 30,798 reported in 2013, when comparable data began. Only five forces in England and Meczyki saw a decline in these offenses in 2021: Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Wiltshire.

NPCC’s lead for hate crimes, Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, said: “Everyone has the right to live their life without fear of being physically or verbally attacked. We strongly encourage anyone who Think they must have experienced a hate crime to report it to the police. Our officers are highly trained, will treat everyone with dignity and respect and handle cases sensitively. After that the victims should come to us at the earliest so that we can start our investigation at the earliest.”

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