Hate crime

In the UK, hate crime is defined by the criminal justice system in terms of 5 broad categories:

  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or beliefs
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • transgender identity.
  • and police recorded hate crime statistics are released annually by the Home Office.

    While these are an important and useful source of information for students and teachers they can be a little dry and dusty, so if you can’t be bothered to trawl through the Report looking for the key results, selected lowlights are as follows:

  • Over 100,000 hate crimes were recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2018/19 – an increase of 10% over the previous year.
  • Increases in hate crime over the past 5 years have mainly been driven by improvements in police crime recording (i.e. they are increasingly likely to recognise and define certain actions as hate crimes). Spikes in hate crime do, however, occur in response to specific events (e.g. the EU (“Brexit”) Referendum in 2016 and terrorist attacks in 2017).
  • Race hate crimes account for around 75% of such offences.
  • There were increases in all categories of hate crime:
  • religious hate crimes increased by 3%
  • sexual orientation hate crimes increased 25%
  • disability hate crimes increased by 14%
  • transgender identity hate crimes increased by 37%
  • Half (54%) of all hate crimes recorded by the police were for public order offences (such as public alarm or fear of distress).
  • One-third (36%) of all hate crimes recorded by the police involved violence against the person.
  • The most serious forms of hate crime (5% of all offences) involved criminal damage and arson.
  • And if your students need a little more background information about the concept of hate crime:

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