Recorded hate crime incidents increase in Suffolk and Essex

The number of hate crimes recorded by police in Suffolk and Essex increased in 2020/21 as national figures hit an all-time high, the latest statistics have revealed.

Home Office data, released on Tuesday, showed there were a total of 962 hate crimes in Suffolk in the year ending March 2021 – up from 866 in 2019/20 – a 11% increase.

While the number of racially motivated offenses increased by 13%, from 574 in 2019/20 to 653 in 2020/21,

Hate crimes related to sexual orientation have also increased, from 151 incidents in 2019/20 to 189 in March of this year.

In Essex, the total number of hate crime incidents increased by 13% (from 3,413 to 3,845) in the year ending March 2021.

Essex has also seen a sharp increase in racially motivated incidents, from 2,244 in 2019/20 to 2,675, a 19% increase.

The numbers also showed an increase in hate crimes against people with disabilities in Essex – from 478 incidents in 2019/20 to 521 in the year through March 2021.

Nationally, the number of hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales has reached an all-time high – with a 12% increase in racially motivated incidents.

In the year ending March 2021, 124,091 hate crimes were recorded, including 92,052 racial hate crimes, 6,377 religious hate crimes, 18,596 hate crimes related to sexual orientation, 9,943 crimes hate crimes related to disability and 2,799 transgender hate crimes.

The numbers have increased every year since the records began in 2011-12, according to the numbers.

The Home Office said the increases were driven by improvements in registration, growing awareness and better identification of what constitutes hate crime.

However, there have been spikes in hate crimes following some events such as the EU referendum and the 2017 terrorist attacks.

This week is National Hate Crime Awareness Week, and Inspector Vicky McParland of Suffolk Police has urged victims and witnesses to continue reporting the incidents.

Inspector Vicky McParland, Suffolk Police
– Credit: Suffolk Police

“The attacks on our diverse Suffolk community, unfortunately, continue to be a problem,” she said.

“These attacks can be verbal, physical or online and the victim can suffer lasting physical injury, mental and / or emotional trauma, and ultimately leave many people feeling unsafe at home or going about their daily lives.

“Every hate crime that goes unreported is a missed opportunity to support the victim.

“Only by increasing reporting will we be able to fully understand the extent of hate crimes and I therefore take this opportunity to urge victims and witnesses to continue reporting incidents to the police or any agency. third-party reporting across the county. ”

Tim Passmore, Tory Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said county residents stood at ...

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore
– Credit: Archant

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Everyone has the right to live safely in Suffolk without fear of prejudice or discrimination.

“It goes without saying that we need to treat each other with respect, but if we don’t, we need to support victims of discrimination and ensure they have the confidence to report.”

Tom Edwards, Deputy Director of Victim Support Services, said: “It is of great concern that there has been a significant increase in hate crime cases in Suffolk.

“Despite the fact that hate crimes are underreported, we still see a high number of victims seeking help, especially as a result of racist hate crimes, and we know all too well the devastating impact they can have. to have.

“Victims not only live with the pain and suffer from being faced with horrific abuse, but it undermines their sense of security, well-being and self-esteem, which takes years to rebuild.

“We want victims to know that hate crimes are a serious offense and that support is available to anyone who needs it. No one should ever fear being abused or discriminated against for who they are. “

Superintendent Richard Melton is the Essex Police Hate Crimes Officer

Superintendent Richard Melton is the Essex Police Hate Crimes Officer
– Credit: Essex Police

Essex Police Superintendent Richard Melton said hate crimes would not be tolerated in the county.

He said: “We want people to come forward and deal with people who commit crimes against them. This is wrong and must be challenged.

“This information will allow us to identify themes and take targeted action.

“We recognize the problems that hate crimes cause and how they can escalate. What starts out as low-level anti-social behavior can turn into community tensions.

“Tensions then normalize hatred, hatred then grows, and we have crimes committed by people motivated by hate.

“We deal with issues at the community level and learn every day how to deal with hate crimes more effectively, and we become more effective by working with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to achieve better outcomes for victims. “

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