In 2016/17 there were 80,393 police recorded hate crimes; a 29% increase on the 62,518 recorded in 2015/16. This increase in recorded hate crime is likely to reflect a combination a factors including a genuine rise in hate crime around the time of the EU Referendum and Westminster Bridge terrorist attack, improved identification and recording of hate crimes by the police, and greater willingness of victims to come forward.
The cross-Government Hate Crime Action Plan was published in July 2016 and focuses on the following five key issues:
- preventing hate crime by challenging beliefs and attitudes;
- responding to hate crime within our communities;
- increasing the reporting of hate crime;
- improving support for victims of hate crime; and
- building our understanding of hate crime.
The Government will continue to deliver against the commitments under the action plan, including working alongside the police, Crown Prosecution Service and other stakeholders to tackle hate crime and provide support to victims.
Measures include funding to places of worship that have been targets for, or are vulnerable to hate crime, for protective security measures such as CCTV or fencing.
The Home Office will also be funding seven local community projects this year that will tackle hate crime. They will work with actual and potential victims and perpetrators, to raise awareness, increase reporting, and challenge perceptions, as well as helping front line staff to provide support to victims of hate crime.
The Home Secretary announced on the 8 October the creation of a new national online hate crime hub that will be run by officers for the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). The national hub’s main aim is to improve the police response to hate crime online. The hub will streamline and simplify current processes, avoid duplication and reduce the burden of online hate crime investigation on local forces. The hub is expected to be operational before the end of the year.
The hate crime action plan will be refreshed in 2018.