The number of hate crimes reported to police in the UK has more than doubled since 2013, according to government figures, which also showed a large increase last year in offences against people based on sexual orientation.
Most hate crime offences recorded by police forces in England and Wales were racial – 78,991 – which increased by 11 percent in the past year.
Transgender identity hate crimes increased by 37 percent to 2,333 last year. The Home Office figures also recorded a 25 percent rise in offences linked to sexual orientation (14,491) while disability hate crimes rose by 14 percent to 8,256.
The steady rise in recent years is partly because of improvements in crime recording, but there were spikes after events such as the referendum on Britain’s EU membership and terrorist attacks in 2017.
Forty-seven percent of religious hate crime offences were targeted against Muslim people (3,530 offences), a similar proportion to last year.
However, hate crimes against Jewish people more than doubled to 1,326 offences, compared with 672 in the previous year.
Meanwhile a large survey by an umbrella organisation of faith and community groups suggested the Home Office figures potentially showed only the tip of the iceberg, after seven in 10 participants said they never reported hate crimes to the police.