Hate crime: Muslims are most targeted group in England and Wales

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There were nearly 3,500 hate crimes perpetrated against Muslims in England and Wales last year, according to new Home Office statistics.

The data recorded 3,459 attacks against Muslims in the year ending March 2022. The next most targeted group was Jews with 1,919 hate crimes perpetrated against them, while Christians were targeted 701 times.

There were also 301 attacks against Sikhs, 161 attacks against Hindus, and 36 attacks against Buddhists.

Hate crime is defined as “any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic.”

There are five centrally monitored strands of hate crime:

  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion or beliefs
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Transgender identity

As in previous years, the majority of hate crimes were racially motivated, accounting for over two-thirds of such offences (70%; 109,843 offences). These types of hate crime increased by 19 per cent between year ending March 2021 and year ending March 2022.

Meanwhile, there were 8,730 religious hate crimes which increased by 37 per cent (to 8,730 offences), up from 6,383 in the previous year. This was the highest number of religious hate crimes recorded since recording began in year ending March 2012

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There were 26,152 sexual orientation hate crimes, 14,242 disability hate crimes and 4,355 transgender hate crimes in year ending March 2022.

Sexual orientation hate crimes increased by 41% (to 26,152), disability hate crimes by 43% (to 14,242), and transgender identity hate crimes by 56% (to 4,355). These percentage increases were much higher than seen in recent years

Over half (51%) of the hate crimes recorded by the police were for public order offences and a 41% were for violence against the person offences. Five per cent were recorded as criminal damage and arson offences.

The Home Office said: “The upward trend in hate crime seen in recent years is likely to have been mainly driven by improvements in crime recording by the police; there have been spikes in hate crime following certain events such as the EU Referendum and the terrorist attacks in 2017.

“It is uncertain the extent to which the increases seen this year continue the pattern of improvements in police recording or represent a real increase in hate crime; the rise seen in the latest year may also have been affected by the lower levels of crime recorded in year ending March 2021 due to the COVID 19 pandemic restrictions; trends may also differ by strand as some crime types have been more affected by improvements in recording practices than others.”

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