A newly published report suggests that the average number of hate crimes committed each year nationally is significantly higher than the number reported to the police.
‘An Overview of Hate Crime in England and Wales’ released on Tuesday, 17 December, by the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Office for National Statistics, shows that in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 1,132 hate crimes were reported to police in 2011/12 and 1,203 in 2012/13.
This is in contrast to an estimate that 278,000 hate crimes take place on average per year nationally. It is believed that only 40% of these offences come to the attention of the police.
Inspector Sarah Clapham from Hampshire Constabulary’s Public Protection Department says:
“What the report highlights is that the police, working with our partners, still have much to do to encourage communities to speak out about hate crime, give them confidence to come forward and report incidents and demonstrate that something can be done.”
The findings suggest that the most common reason for not reporting the incident to the police was because the victim believed that the police would not or could not do much about it.
However, the police wish to emphasise they take all hate crimes very seriously; and will always investigate and help victims get the support they need. What’s more they have specially trained staff, such as Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers and Disability Champions, who have an extra understanding in their areas of expertise.
As well as reporting such incidents on 101 or 999 there is a hate crime app for smartphones available, which has more information about hate crimes and the support services available.
For details of how to download the app, and more on hate crime in general, take a look at the hate crime pages of the Hampshire Constabulary website.