Police recorded crime figures in 2021/22 show that there were 155,841 offences where one or more of the centrally monitored hate crime strands were deemed to be a motivating factor. This represented a 26% increase on figures for 2020/21.
Since April 2015, there have been spikes for racial or religiously aggravated hate crimes at the time of the EU referendum, 2017 terrorist attacks and 2020 Black Lives Matters protests. Though there were similar spikes in the following and preceding summers, the trends were similar for the two types of offences.
The increase in police recorded hate crime over time has partly been attributed to better recording methods used and greater awareness in reporting hate crimes.
The definition of what constitutes hate crime in England & Wales was agreed in 2007 by the Police Service, Crown Prosecution Service, Prison Service and other agencies.
Hate crime in England and Wales 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 centrally monitored strands of hate crime:
• race or ethnicity;
• religion or beliefs;
• sexual orientation;
• transgender identity.
Hatred related to gender and age, though recorded by the police, is not included in the Home Office definition of hate crime as centrally monitored strands, and are excluded from the hate crime statistics.
As part of a review into hate crime legislation, misogyny (hatred directed towards women), misandry (hatred directed towards men), hate based on age and hatred towards gothic subculture could all be included in future as hate crimes.
According to the surveys, victims of hate crime were more likely to be impacted emotionally and psychologically following a crime than victims of all crime.
For instance, 42% of victims of hate crime felt a loss of confidence or vulnerable following the crime compared with 19% of those for all crimes; 29% of hate crime victims had difficulty sleeping following the crime in comparison to 13% for all crimes; while 34% of hate crime victims suffered from anxiety or panic attacks compared with 14% for all crimes. 18% of hate crime victims experienced feelings of depression after the attack compared with 9% of victims of all crimes.
The data on online hate crime by type of offence shows that the majority of online hate crimes involve violence against the person (80%) which mainly involves the sending of malicious communications.
In comparison offences related to violence against the person accounted for 33% of overall hate where the majority of overall hate crimes were related to public order offences (56%). Transgender people were more likely to be victims of online hate crimes involving violence against the person (10%). The strand least likely to be targeted by this type of offence was race (4%).
We are seeing a marked increase in the number of people arrested and prosecuted for alleged hate crime offences. All of our solicitors are well-versed in this complex area of law and able to secure the best possible outcomes.
How can we help?
We ensure we keep up to date with any changes in legislation and case law so that we are always best placed to advise you properly. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact our team of criminal defence specialists on: 01376 511819