Hate crime rises 10 per cent in London in one year

The Met support Hate Crime Awareness Week. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Images

The number of hate crimes recorded in London by police increased 10 per cent in the year to March 2021. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Hate crimes have increased 10 per cent in London over one year, with almost four in five offences related to racism, data reveals.

New figures from the Home Office show the number of offences recorded by police from April 2020 to March 2021 compared to the years before that.

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”.

Across London, 24,291 hate crime offences were recorded by the Metropolitan Police, up  2,180 from 22,111 in 2019/20 - about a 10pc increase.

A total of 25,668 motivating factors were identified, as some offences had more than one.

Race or ethnicity was a factor in 20,068 of the reported crimes, which is a rise of 15pc on the 17,465 recorded the previous year.

Sexual orientation was listed as a factor in 2,928 cases and religion or beliefs in 1,856.

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There were 527 offences relating to disability and 289 to transgender identity.

A Met spokesperson said: “The Met does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and is committed to prosecuting any offenders where there is evidence that meets the evidential threshold.

“Where any allegation of hate crime is made to the police, we will launch a proportionate investigation.

"In some cases there may be a lack of evidence to support a prosecution and a case will be closed when all investigative opportunities have been exhausted."

In England and Wales, the number of hate crimes has risen each year since records began in 2011/12.

The Home Office says increases in recorded hate crime over recent years have been mainly driven by improvements in crime recording and better identification of what constitutes a hate crime.

However, there have been spikes in hate crime around certain "trigger events", such as the EU Referendum in 2016 and the terrorist attacks in 2017.

There was also an increase in public order hate crimes last year following the widespread Black Lives Matter protests and far-right counter-protests, it said.

Anyone in London who is a victim of a hate crime is asked to report it via 101 or tweeting @MetCC.

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers via 0800 555 111 or crimestoppers-uk.org/ or on the TruVision website: report-it.org.uk/.