How to handle hate crime

Figures suggest a recent increase in recorded hate crimes and incidents.

​Recent press reports suggest there has been a significant increase in hate crime and incidents since the UK voted to leave the EU.  Any increase is serious, however some media sources have indicated increases far higher than the reality. 

NPCC figures released on the 8 July show that between the 16/06/2016 and the 30/06/2016 there were 3076 Hate Crimes and Incidents reported to UK Police Forces. This is a 42% increase in reported offences when compared to the same period last year.

While this is a significant increase, it is worth noting the Brexit vote may not be the only influence on reporting of hate crime. The recent terrorist attacks may also increase feelings of vulnerability leading to higher reporting levels and we know that police forces are investigating allegations very robustly, which is likely to impact on numbers of recorded crime.

Offending peaked on the Saturday following the referendum when 289 offences were reported, and despite a marked decrease since, reports are still higher than the same time last year.

The largest difference in offending levels as compared to last year, was from the Monday to Wednesday following the referendum, however these are now returning to levels previously seen in 2016.

The key offence type perpetrated during the two week period is violence against the person. This included harassment, common assault and other violence, eg, verbal abuse, spitting and barging. The second and third most prevalent offences were public order offences and criminal damage.

Investigating hate crime can often be challenging, in particular understanding perception based reporting and gathering evidence of hostility to support enhanced sentencing.

The College of Policing is supporting you in a number of ways. This includes providing you with guidance and learning products:

  • College of Policing (2014) Hate Crime Operational Guidance which provide operational advice to frontline officers on the broad spectrum of hate crime, including where hate or hostility is a motivating factor in any crime.
  • An e-briefing, Hidden in Plain sight was launched in May 2012 to raise awareness about the findings in the final report of the EHRC inquiry into disability related harassment.
  • An awareness raising public protection e-learning training package called 'Man in Distress' was launched in February 2014 on the NCALT managed learning environment.

This latter package is aimed at all frontline police officers and staff and uses video clips to illustrate the impact of disability hate crime on a man with learning and physical disabilities who had been the victim of targeted hostility.

Currently we are supporting a review of existing training to ensure you continue to receive the right learning and continuing development opportunities to support you to do your job.

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