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Referendum campaign and terror attacks fuel surge in hate crime - Home Office

3 min read

Last year saw a record surge in hate crime, with a spike in incidents during the EU referendum campaign and after terror attacks. 

Official records showed there were more than 80,000 incidents in 2016/17 in England and Wales, equivalent to 220 a day.

This amounted to a shocking 29% increase on the 62,500 incidents recorded in 2015/16 and the highest rise since records began in 2011/12.

The Home Office said the increase was partly due to a “genuine rise in hate crime”, combined with better recording of police statistics.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said she was "heartened" that more people were coming forward to report incidents, but that the rise was "undoubtedly concerning".

The department said there had also been a spike in crimes in the wake of the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack on 22 March.

Of the crimes recorded, four out of five were racially motivated, with attacks based on sexual orientation, disability, religion and transphobic hate crime making up the remainder.


The Home Office said there had been a marked rise in offences during and after the EU referendum campaign, which began in April of last year and reached its peak in July.

Overall the number of hate crimes was 44% higher in July 2016 compared with a year earlier. 



Responding to today's statistics, Ms Rudd said: “There is absolutely no place for hate crime in our society and this Government is taking action to tackle it.

“I am heartened that that more victims are more confident to come forward and report incidents of hate crime, and that police identification and recording of all crime is improving.  

“But no-one in Britain should have to suffer violent prejudice, and indications that there was a genuine rise in the number of offences immediately following each of this year’s terror attacks is undoubtedly concerning." 

The Government published a Hate Crime Action Plan in July last year to tackle the rise in incidents and improve support for victims.

Shadow Home Secretary claimed the Conservatives had failed to tackle a rise in intolerance.


"The Tories have made great claims about tackling burning injustices. But they are clearly not tackling the great injustice of being attacked simply because of your religion, your sexuality or the colour of your skin," she said.
"Labour will hire 10,000 extra police, to ensure there are sufficient officers working in the community who can help tackle crimes like this.

"The Tories continue to make police cuts and, in their own words, they have created a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants. Amber Rudd needs to urgently come Parliament and explain what the Government's response will be to address this serious failing."

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