This year alone has seen the reporting of 62,518 cases of hate crime. This is a 19 percent increase on the previous year. This means that on average, 171 hate crimes are reported per day. How many more occur that go unnoticed or unreported? Race hate crimes make up 79% of that figure. How do these statistics make you feel? It is difficult to believe that a society that has come so far in terms of equal rights (e.g., same-sex marriage), appears to have not progressed at all in other areas of equality. In a time when hate crime is on the rise every year and right wing extremism is gaining more popularity, it is easy to believe for every one step forward we are also taking two steps back. It is feared that many are becoming normalised to hate crime and closely linked extreme far-right views due to the presence of far-right extremist groups across communities.
What is a hate crime?
Hate crimes are attacks against an individual or group due to their gender, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation. They can range from verbal attacks and harassment right through to physical assault. It is important to remember that if you are a victim of a hate crime or witness a hate crime, to contact the police immediately. Third party charities are also available to speak to if this is what you feel more comfortable with.
An example of a recent hate crime occurred on Oxford Street, London; a white man approached an unaccompanied woman and repeatedly told her to remove her hijab. When the woman refused, the man became aggressive and tried to physically remove her hijab himself. He managed to unpin the hijab, however, was unsuccessful in removing it. Although physically unharmed, the woman was left very distressed by the incident. Sadly, this is an example of a crime that happens far too often, the location of this one emphasising how the aggressors are not worried about the consequence of their actions. Scotland Yard issued a statement explaining that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. Hate crime will be torn down along with the revolting attitudes of those committing them too.
Hate crime statistics;
The Home Office (2016) revealed that:
- 49,419 (79%) were race hate crimes
- 7,194 (12%) were sexual orientation hate crimes
- 4,400 (7%) were religious hate crimes
- 3,629 (6%) were disability hate crimes
- 858 (1%) were transgender hate crimes
A recent problem for the UK is that statistics have revealed that after the EU Referendum, racial or religiously motivated attacks have risen by 41% from July 2015 to July 2016. Nevertheless, efforts are being made to tackle and reduce this in the future. National Hate Crime Awareness Week took place very recently in October where events such as candlelit vigils took place. If you missed it, it will take place again in 2017. Perhaps between now and the next National Hate Crime Awareness Week you can have a think about hate crime in your community, and what your community can do together to reduce these shocking statistics.
We hope that these statistics will have decreased by National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2017. Speak out, be kind and don’t let hate crime be the new norm for humanity.
If you want to read more about the statistics referenced please go to https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/559319/hate-crime-1516-hosb1116.pdf