Hate crimes surge in England and Wales
The number of hate crimes in England and Wales surged 29 per cent in 2016-17, in part because of the EU referendum and the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack, the Home Office said.
Police recorded 80,393 offences in the year to March 2017 - a 29 per cent rise over the year before, when 62,518 crimes were recorded. It was the biggest rise in hate crime since the Home Office began the data series six years ago.
London saw a slightly lower increase than the UK as a whole, with 20 per cent more hate crimes than the year before.
“Hate crime has absolutely no place in London, where one of our greatest strengths is our unity in the face of adversity,” Mayor Sadiq Khan said, adding that the Met Police take a “zero-tolerance” approach to tackling such offences.
“Our message is clear - if you witness a hate crime please report it to the police. If you commit a hate crime, you face arrest,” he said.
The Home Office said the EU referendum had contributed to the rise in hate crimes, as well the Westminster Bridge attack, while improvements in crime recording by police were also a factor.
Across the country, race hate accounted for by far the biggest proportion of crimes, followed by those motivated by sexual orientation, religion, disability and transgender hate.
In April, the Mayor launched an Online Hate Crime Hub, which works with community experts to help police officers tackle online hate more effectively and improve services for victims.