Hate crime undermines the diversity and tolerance we should instead be celebrating.
Following increases in the reporting of hate crime to the True Vision website, the National Police Chiefs' Council requested weekly returns on the hate crime numbers.
These returns show 3076 hate crimes and incidents were reported to police forces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland between June 16 - 30 2016. This is an increase of 915 reports in comparison to the same period last year, this shows a 42 per cent increase in the reporting of hate crime nationally.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Hate Crime, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said:
“We now have a clear indication of the increases in the reporting of hate crime nationally and can see that there has been a sharp rise in recent weeks. This is unacceptable and it undermines the diversity and tolerance we should instead be celebrating.
“Forces have been monitoring and managing hate crime more robustly since the attacks in Paris in 2015. We believe that greater awareness and confidence in the police response has contributed to this increase in reporting."
At the peak in offending on the June 25 2016, 289 offences occurred across the UK. Reassuringly, since this point there has been a marked decrease in reports but weekly returns will continue to be collated to monitor the situation until further reductions are seen.
ACC Hamilton continued:
“Police forces across the country have heightened their response to hate crimes over the last 10 days following these reports. We are working locally and nationally with partners to reassure communities and tackle offending. We will remain in close liaison with the CPS to ensure that the criminal justice system responds quickly and appropriately.
"Everyone has the right to feel safe and confident about who they are and should not be made to feel vulnerable or at risk. The police service has no tolerance for this type of abuse but we need to be made aware that these crimes are taking place so that we can investigate."
The main type of offence seen during this two week period is violence against the person, which is primarily harassment, common assault and other violence (verbal abuse, spitting and ‘barging’). The second and third most prevalent incidents were public order offences, followed by criminal damage.
Previous increases reported to the online reporting site True Vision only took into account reports through a single mechanism and did not show an overall national picture.
Victims and those feeling vulnerable should report any incident of hate crime to the police on 101 or using our True Vision website (www.report-it.org.uk). You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.