Muslims in England most likely to be victims of religious hate crime

Almost half of cases classed as religious hatred were against Muslims, but there was a surge after Black Lives Matter protests

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Protesters kneel on the ground during a Black Lives Matter demonstration on Whitehall on June 3, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Hate crime cases in England and Wales have increased by 9 per cent, Home Office figures reveal.

Between March 2020 and March 2021, police forces recorded 124,091.

The majority of the hate crimes were racially motivated, with 85,668 offences, a 12 per cent year-on-year increase.

There were 6,377 crimes listed as religious hate crimes. Of these, 45 per cent were against Muslims.

The second most targeted group in this category, at 22 per cent, were Jewish people.

“While increases in hate crime over the past five years 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,” the Home Office said.

“As in previous years, the majority of hate crimes were racially motivated, accounting for about three quarters of all such offences and racially motivated hate crimes increased by 12 per cent between year ending March 2020 and year ending March 2021.

“Over half [52 per cent] of the hate crimes recorded by the police were for public order offences and 40 per cent were for violence against the person offences.”

It said there were clear surges after the Black Lives Matter protests and far-right counter-protests after the death of George Floyd in May last year at the hands of a police officer in the US.

Earlier this year the National Police Chiefs’ Council said forces have been improving their handling of hate crimes.

“We are working with forces to help them understand and improve the service they provide to victims,” an official said.

London's Metropolitan Police recorded the highest number of race hate offences in 2020 (15,101; up 7 per cent from 14,051 in 2019).

Updated: October 13th 2021, 1:16 PM