Hate crimes reported in England and Wales have risen by 9% since the beginning of the pandemic

BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY PIXABAY

A Home Office report has revealed the sinister reality of hate crime in the UK, reflecting a rise in reported hate crimes by 9% since the beginning of the pandemic. The report analyses statistics on transphobic, homophobic, racist and ableist incidents, and the verdict doesn’t look positive.

Sadly, more than 70% of the 124,091 incidents recorded were racially motivated, increasing by 12% between March 2020 and March 2021. With Black Lives Matter protests at an all-time high during this period, retaliation from far-right hate groups was strong, reflecting the worrying reality of racially motivated crime in England and Wales.

The report demonstrates that hate crimes against LGBTQI people have almost doubled in the last five years, with homophobic hate crimes having increased by 7% to 17,135. Disability hate crimes have increased by 9% to 9208, with transphobic hate crimes increasing by 3% to 2630.

Stonewall has raised concerns that the Home Office report might not reflect the full extent of hate crime in England and Wales, as its research suggests that not all LGBTQI hate crimes are reported. Indeed, not all cases become a statistic, and the potential for unreported trauma is staggering.

In a September 2017 report on LGBTQI Hate Crime and Discrimination in Britain, Stonewall found that one in five LGBT people experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, two in five trans people experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity and critically, that four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes and incidents went unreported, with younger LGBTQI people particularly anxious to file a police report.  

“From ensuring that hate crimes are properly recorded and prosecuted, to training police forces to understand LGBTQ+ hate crime and support victims & survivors, it’s vital that we all do more to tackle violence and hate directed at LGBTQ+ people”, the charity states. Change is possible, but we’ve a long way to go.

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