Policy

Reducing and preventing crime

Supporting detail:

Hate crime

Hate crime involves any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic. Hate crime can be motivated by disability, gender identity, race, religion or faith and sexual orientation.

Hate crime action plan: Challenge it, report it, stop it

Challenge it, report it, stop it is our plan to address hate crime, by working with local agencies, voluntary organisations and our independent advisory group to meet 3 objectives:

  • preventing hate crime by challenging the attitudes and behaviours that foster hatred, and encouraging early intervention to reduce the risk of incidents escalating
  • increasing the reporting of hate crime by building victims’ confidence to come forward and seek justice, and working with local and national organisations to make sure the right support is available when they do
  • working with the agencies that make up the criminal justice system to improve the way they respond to hate crime

Bills and legislation

Legislation has been in place for a number of years to protect victims from such hate crimes, including offences for those who intend to stir up racial hatred, commit racially and religiously aggravated offences or engage in racist chanting at football matches.

We have also introduced new criminal offences and enhanced sentences in recent years to reflect the seriousness of hate crime. These include enhanced sentencing and stirring up hatred towards other groups on the grounds of religion and sexual orientation.

Hate crime statistics

In October 2014, the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and the Office for National Statistics published ‘Hate Crimes, England and Wales 2013 to 2014’.

The data covers police-recorded hate crime, which shows that over 2013 to 2014, 44,480 hate crimes were recorded by the police, an increase of 5% compared with 2012 to 13, of which:

  • 37,484 (84%) were race hate crimes
  • 4,622 (10%) were sexual orientation hate crimes
  • 2,273 (5%) were religion hate crimes
  • 1,985 (4%) were disability hate crimes
  • 555 (1%) were transgender hate crimes

It is possible for one hate crime offence to have more than one motivating factor which is why the above numbers sum to more than 44,480 and 100%.

There were increases in all 5 of the monitored hate crime strands (race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity) between 2012 to 13 and 2013 to 14.

Findings from the combined Crime Survey for England and Wales for 2011 to 2012 and for 2012 to 2013 estimate that there were 278,000 incidents of hate crime on average each year. Around 40% of these incidents came to the attention of the police.

We know that hate crimes are under-reported and we want to encourage more people to come forward to report hate crime.

International action on hate crime

We are also working with a range of organisations, including the United Nations, the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to share our experience, ideas and good practice.