Following the EU referendum last year, we saw a spike in reported racially and religiously aggravated hate crime offences. However, the number of offences declined throughout August and at the end of the month the number of offences was similar to pre-referendum levels.
In response to this spike, the Government took a number of steps to provide assurances to communities, including EU citizens residing in the UK. The Government also made it clear that we will not tolerate hate crime and that we actively work to tackle it.
In July 2016, we published the Hate Crime Action Plan, “Action Against Hate”, which sets out a range of actions aimed at tackling all forms of hate crime. This includes indentifying and challenging attitudes and beliefs underlying hate crime, responding to hate crime and supporting communities, and improving understanding of hate crime through improved reporting.
Improvements in recording by the police, a greater awareness of hate crime and improved willingness of victims to come forward may also have led to the increase in reporting.
Hate crime levels continue to be monitored, with government working closely with police and local organisations to provide reassurance to areas affected by hate crime.
Although we do not intend to conduct a formal review of the cause of the spike following the referendum, we continue to look into underlying reasons for hate crime through engagement with stakeholders and local community groups.