Hugo Gye, The Sun, October 17, 2017
After a string of sickening racist attacks, the total number of reported hate crimes passed 80,000 this year, according to the Home Office.
But the number of actual prosecutions fell by 6.2 per cent — suggesting there is a growing gap between perceptions of crime and the number which are investigated by the police.
The spike in reported hate crimes from 62,518 in 2015/16 was linked by Home Office officials to the divisive Brexit referendum and multiple terror attacks.
Today’s report said: “The increase over the last year is thought to reflect both a genuine rise in hate crime around the time of the EU referendum and following the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack, as well as ongoing improvements in crime recording by the police.”
The overall figure of 80,393 for 2016/17 is the highest since figures of hate crimes were first collected in 2011.
In the same year, there were 14,480 hate crime prosecutions completed across England and Wales – down 6.2 per cent from the year before.
This suggests that many of the reported hate crimes did not have enough evidence for police to investigate.
Among the horrific racist attacks which took place in the past year was an assault by two soldiers on a black police officer.
Oliver White, 21, grabbed PC Owura Kodua round the neck while his friend Tom McLaughlin called him a “black c**t”.
Thug Jamie McMillan, 29, was jailed in February after he was caught on camera launching a foul-mouthed racist tirade at a passenger on a Manchester bus.
And earlier this year Mark Graham, 46, was convicted of sending racist hate mail to the mother of murdered teen Stephen Lawrence and other well-known black Brits.
In response to the latest figures, Home Secretary Amber 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.”
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said: “This rise in hate crime is unacceptable, especially after a drop in police referrals has seen a fall in prosecutions.
“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, the colour of your skin or your disability.”
The Home Office report suggests that terror attacks on Manchester and London have led to sudden surges in hate crimes.
It also says that the divisive EU referendum campaign caused a mark increase in race-related violence and abuse.