The number of disability related hate crimes reported to police has soared by a shocking 25% in only a year, according to new figures published today.
Figures published by the Home Office reveal that 2,508 disability motivated hate crimes were reported and recorded by the police in 2014/15, up 25% from 2,006 in 2013/14.
The report says ‘improved willingness of victims to come forward is likely to be a factor in the increase in hate crimes recorded by the police’. Critics blame welfare cuts and the negative portrayal of disabled people in the media.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales also includes unreported cases, which reveals that disability is now the second most common motivating factor behind all hate crimes.
According to the survey, there were an average of 70,000 incidents of disability hate crime per year between 2012 to 2015, including unreported/unrecorded cases, compared to 106,000 for racially motivated hate crime.
Among all hate crimes reported and recorded by the police in 2014/15 (does no include unreported/unrecorded cases):
- 42,930 (82%) were race hate crimes;
- 5,597 (11%) were sexual orientation hate crimes;
- 3,254 (6%) were religion hate crimes;
- 2,508 (5%) were disability hate crimes; and
- 605 (1%) were transgender hate crimes.
Incidents of hate crime can have more than one motivating factor, hence why the figures add up to more than 100%.
The Home Office says there were increases in all five of the centrally monitored strands between 2013/14 and 2014/15.
Notably, racially motivated hate crime increased by 15% between 2013/14 to 2014/15 and religious hate crime increased by 43% over the same period.
Racially or religiously aggravated hate crime offences peaked in July 2013, following the Lee Rigby Murder.
Of cases reported to the police and flagged as hate crime:
- 59% were public order offences;
- 30% were violence against the person;
- 7% were criminal damage and arson; and
- 3% were recorded as other offences.
Victims of hate crime are far less likely to be satisfied with police handling of incidents. Just 52% said they were ‘very’ or ‘fairly satisfied’, compared with 73% for crime overall.