The number of reported hate crime across all monitored strands has continued to rise since 2012/13. Improved policing practices and the recording and identification of hate crime is one key factor in this rise. Furthermore, the other key factor is the genuine rise in hate crime, particularly around the time of the EU referendum and when there are major national or international incidents, such as terrorist attacks or instability in the Middle East. In the latter, there are direct impacts on Muslim and Jewish communities.
It is also a fact that we are no longer an island and that instantaneous communications can carry ideas and tensions across the globe, affecting diaspora communities. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime acknowledge this and also acknowledge the fast changing and shifting nature of this work.
Data published by the Home Office in October 2017 confirms sharp rises in offences which have an aggravating feature of hatred towards the particular identity of an individual and these spikes took place after the referendum result and post terrorist attacks. The report concluded ‘that these spikes are indeed genuine increases in these aggravated offences’.
In the 2016/7 data, the Home Office notes that disability (up 53%), sexual orientation (up 24%), and transgender (up 41%) hate crimes were therefore on the rise. Of the 44 police forces in England and Wales, they recorded 9,157 LGBTQ hate crimes, 5,558 disability hate crimes and 1,248 transgender hate crimes.
These findings were mirrored by third party reporting services:
- Tell MAMA saw a spike in anti-Muslim hate crime reports following the Manchester and London Bridge terror attacks.
- The CST recorded a 30 per cent rise in antisemitic incidents in the first six months of 2017, with 767 antisemitic incidents recorded, up from 589 incidents from the same period in 2016.
- Galop reported a 147% rise in anti-LGBT+ hate crime in the three months after the EU referendum.
Despite the documented rise in all recorded strands of hate crime, under-reporting remains a major barrier. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime will seek to investigate why these spikes take place and explore other avenues to improve community trust in reporting to third-party services and the police. It will also review the role of other potential social triggers, such as media headlines, political campaigns and the actions of extremist groups who target institutions related to faith communities. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime will therefore develop a multi-variate work plan which will cover a range of hate crime areas and their impacts on the mental, emotional and physical well-being of people.
Overlap of different forms of hate crime
Our identities are many fold and some will experience multiple forms of racism and discrimination. This intersectionality means that some people will face hatred, racism and hostility to their faith or to their sexual orientation. This intersectionality is important to understand and also means that there will be multiple impacts on individuals who are targeted. The intersectionality of hate crime will be a key work theme in the first year of the APPG’s work. (About 5% of hate crime offences in England and Wales in 2016/17 had multiple ‘motivating factors’ and the intersectionality largely related to racial and religious hate crime.)
We acknowledge that there are existing projects that take this intersectionality into account. On project that works in the London Boroughs of Westminster and Hackney is the Community Alliance to Combat Hate programme (CATCH). The Mayor’s Office Policing and Crime (MOPAC) commissioned the project which brings together the expertise of Mind (Wandsworth & Westminster), Choice in Hackney, Tell MAMA, the Community Security Trust (CST), and Galop. In short, this project can help individuals affected by multiple forms of hatred and discrimination, thereby allowing them to access multiple services through one point of entry.
The most important aspect which guides much of the understanding around hate crime work is victim perception. It is also important to be able to distinguish between a hate incident and a hate crime. The MET describes a hate incident as:
“A Hate Incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
“Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police.
“Evidence of the hate element is not a requirement. You do not need to personally perceive the incident to be hate related. It would be enough if another person, a witness or even a police officer thought that the incident was hate related”.
A hate crime is described as:
“Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.”
This idea of a person or ‘victim centred’ approach was enshrined in the watershed Macpherson report published in 1999, following the unprovoked racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence in south-east London in 1993. The Macpherson report put hate crime reporting into the public focus and the report redefined the way racist offences were recorded. It also broadened the offence category to include crime and non-crimes, with both being recorded and investigated with an equal commitment. Other recommendations included the ability for members of the public to report incidents to third party hate crime reporting services such as the Community Security Trust, Tell MAMA, GALOP or Stop Hate UK. Reports could be made in confidence and would then be passed onto police forces through these conduit agencies. The Macpherson report sought to redress the balance in favour of the person who was targeted for hate and to ensure that their journey to access justice was as smooth as possible, whilst agencies could maintain the dignity and integrity of the complainant. This has formed the basis of hate crime work ever since.
Reporting hate crimes
Hate crimes can be reported by calling 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency situation. Members of the public can also report in directly at a police station, through the MOPAC Hate Crime reporting app, through True Vision, or through community reporting methods such as Tell MAMA, Galop, or the CST.