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Hate crime data published for the first time

30 Nov 2010

Data on the number of hate crimes reported and recorded across England, Wales and Northern Ireland has been published for the first time

The figures show that in 2009 the police service recorded 52,028 crimes where the victim, or any other person, perceived a criminal offence to be motivated by hostility on grounds either of race, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability or because a person is transgender.

Publication of the data underlines the commitment of the police service to tackle hate crime, build confidence and encourage victims to come forward so that under-reporting is reduced. The benchmark for police recording crimes against these five “strands” was set in 2008.

ACPO lead for equality, diversity and human rights, Chief Constable Stephen Otter, said:

“Hate crimes cause a great deal of harm among victims and communities. By publishing this data, and demonstrating the service’s commitment to open reporting of hate crime, we hope to encourage victims and witnesses to come forward.

“Against the 2008 benchmark year we believe the 2009 data shows an increase in all five classifications of hate crime. Whilst we want to reduce the incidence of these crimes, it is vital that we close the gap of under-reporting. We are making real progress in this critical area through standardized reporting and better recording and we continue to work to improve our support to victims of hate crime.

“Only by increasing reporting can we gain a full understanding of the extent of hate crime and it is for this reason that I urge victims and witnesses to continue to come forward.”

Professor John Grieve CBE, Independent Chair of the Government’s Hate Crime Advisory Group, said:

“The publication of this data is to be welcomed. It represents a significant step forward in our understanding of the nature and extent of hate crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The members of our advisory group come from a range of backgrounds but all recognize that the transparent reporting of hate crime is essential to give confidence to victims and communities.

“The UK is amongst world leaders in the way that it responds to hate crime, but there is still much work to do. One of the greatest challenges is to reduce the under-reporting of hate crime. We welcome the government’s commitment to increase reporting and we will be examining this data in the forthcoming months and years to better understand the extent of crime and to challenge where performance does not meet the high standards that the public rightly demands of the criminal justice agencies.”

The full data set is available at the following link:

Hate crime against the monitored hate crime strands: race, sexual orientation, faith and religion, disability and transgender; has been measured across police forces since April 2008, and a commitment to publish the data was made to the Hate Crime Strategy Board. In May 2010 the Coalition’s Programme for Government also included a commitment to improve the recording of hate crime based on hostility to sexual orientation, transgender and disability.

Until now, the key figures available on hate crime have been those racially and religiously aggravated offences which are reported in the Home Secretary’s report on Race in the Criminal Justice System. That data is more limited as it only relates to four offence categories and only two of the five monitored victim strands. From 2012, the Home Office is expected to take over publication of this data.

These figures cover England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The 2008 total police recorded hate crime is 46,300. These crimes were motivated by hostility on grounds of; race 39,300; sexual orientation 4,300; religion/faith 1,700; disability 800 and; transgender 300. Figures between January and March 2008 for disability and transgender motivated hate crimes are based on estimates.

All hate crimes are not additional to general crime (ie all these crimes are already recorded in figures for relevant crime types. Within the race statistics are included antisemitic hate crimes for which a total is also included separately.

For more information please contact:

ACPO Press Office
Association of Chief Police Officers