The Memo: Hate crimes continue to be higher than ever: what is being done?

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Weekly Roundup: 28th November 2022: Hate crimes continue to be higher than ever: what is being done?

Chelsey Stanborough - 28th November 2022

Legally, hate crimes are understood as offences of prejudice that target someone’s race, sexual orientation, religion, identity or disability. According to figures from the Home Office, there has been a 26% rise in the number of incidents like this recorded across England and Wales in the last year. So, what’s being done about it?

Of the 155,841 hate crimes reported over the last year, 109,843 of them were racist hate crimes. The reports highest rise, however, was the 56% rise in crimes targeting transgender people. There isn’t a straightforward answer as to why, but experts believe the increase in open conversation on social media platforms may be a factor. Others claim that a rise in trust in the police force explains the numbers. Rises were also identified in crimes relating to sexual orientation, which creeped up by 42%, and religion, to 37%. This increase comes after two years of decline, with Muslims and Jews the most targeted.

So, what sort of offences are being reported exactly? There are five aggravated offences relating specifically to race or religion, and eight non-aggravated offences, which combined accounted for 49% of reports. The remaining 51% of the offences were public order offences. When looking at conviction rates for hate crimes, the latest data indicates that the rate sits at 87.3%, over 10% higher than those of domestic abuse.

Movements have been made towards justice for victims of hate crimes, particularly when it comes to race and religion. But with increasing reports across social media, public scrutiny of these offences is at an all-time high. Despite the high conviction rate, public pressure could see a push for harsher sentences, and a deeper look into the effectiveness on stopping hate crime.