Hate crimes against Muslims soar

26th Oct 2018

Hamed Chapman

Religious hate crime in England and Wales has soared by a massive 40 per cent in the past 12 months, with recorded offences hitting a record high and more than half committed against Muslims.

Statistics released by the Home Office show that the overall number of recorded hate crimes altogether rose 17 per cent in the year to the end of March, reaching 94,098, more than double the amount five years ago. For 2017-18, race hate crime rose 14 per cent, religious hate crime went up 40 per cent, hate crime linked to sexual orientation rose 27 per cent, disability hate crime was up 30 per cent and transgender hate crime rose 32 per cent to 1,600.

Of the 8,336 religious hate crimes, some 52 per cent were directed against Muslims. Religion was classified as the motivating factor in 9% of recorded hate crimes, while three-quarters of hate crimes were recorded as racially motivated.

Although the overall conviction rate for hate crimes increased to 84.7 per cent, only a small proportion of reported incidents – 12 per cent – end with someone being charged or summonsed to court. Despite the rise, the number of completed prosecutions also fell by over 2 per cent from 14,480 in 2016-17 to 14,151 in 2017-18.

Attacks increased after the EU Referendum vote and terrorist attacks in 2017, says the report.

  • A peak in July 2013 in racially or religiously aggravated offences following the Lee Rigby murder
  • A rise in racially or religiously aggravated offences during the EU Referendum campaign, from April 2016, to a peak in offences after the result, in July 2016
  • An apparent increase in racially or religiously aggravated offences in March 2017 following the Westminster Bridge attack.
  • A sharp increase in hate crime in June 2017 following terrorist attacks in May and June.

In a separate report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, some 70% of Muslims surveyed experienced religion-based prejudice, 64% of people from a black ethnic background experienced race-based prejudice, 46% of lesbian, gay or bisexual people experienced sexual orientation-based prejudice. More people also expressed openly negative feelings towards Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, as well as Muslims and transgender people.

Around a third of British adults felt that efforts to provide equal opportunities had gone ‘too far’ in the case of immigrants (37%) and Muslims (33%). Although three quarters of people in Britain agree that there should be equality for all, the UK equality body found that veiled prejudice and negative attitudes towards others are still prevalent in British society.

 

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