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HATE crimes have risen to the highest level on record, and racially motivated incidents rocketed during last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, new figures revealed today.
There were 124,091 such crimes recorded in the year to March 2021, according to Home Office statistics. Of these, more than 92,000 were related to race.
The numbers have increased every year since records began in 2011.
Excluding 2021 figures from the Greater Manchester force, which was unable to provide data for the year to March 2020 as a comparison, there were 114,958 hate crimes recorded in the year to March 2021, an annual rise of 9 per cent.
About three quarters of them were racially motivated, an annual increase of 12 per cent, equating to more than 9,000 extra incidents.
The Home Office said that there had been an increase in public-order hate crimes during the summer of 2020, following the Black Lives Matter protests and far-right counterprotests.
Its report attributed the general increase in incidents to improvements in how police record crimes, while admitting that there had also been “short-term genuine rises in hate crime following certain trigger events.”
Race Equality Foundation chief executive Jabeer Butt said: “The latest hate-crime figures paint a bleak picture for equality in the UK.
“The fact that almost three quarters of hate crimes were racially motivated shows just how far is left to go towards building a society that is truly tolerant and anti-racist.
“While some of the 9 per cent overall increase in hate crime can be attributed to improvements in crime recording, it is all too clear that too many people still face horrific attacks simply on the basis of who they are.
“The government’s hate-crime action plan has clearly fallen short and needs to be revisited as a matter of urgency.”
Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said the figures must be a wake-up call for urgent change.
“The shamefully small number of offenders being brought to justice shows how damaging Tory police cuts have been, allowing vile criminals to escape justice yet again,” he said. “The backlash against people standing up to racial injustice shows how far we have to go as a country to defeat hatred.”
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