New figures released today show a worrying surge in hate crime.
According to Home Office figures, hate crime offences recorded by the police rose by a record 29% to 80,393 incidents in the 12 months to March 2017.
Figures showed a spike in hate crime following the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester earlier this year as well as after the Brexit vote in June 2016.
The number of hate crime incidents recorded by police reached a record monthly level of 6,000 incidents in June, topping the previous monthly high of 5,500 in July 2016 after the EU referendum.
The 29% annual increase is the largest rise since the official hate crime figures were first published five years ago. Race was believed to be a motivating factor in nearly 80% of recorded hate crimes – 62,685 incidents. Sexual orientation was a factor in 9,157 or 11%, with religious hate crime accounting for 5,940 or 7%.
The Home Office said the increase was thought to reflect both a genuine rise in hate crime and ongoing improvements in crime recording by police.
At Riverside we are committed to supporting our customers and staff and have help available for anyone who is a victim of hate crime here.
To mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week, our BME staff group is leading a campaign to highlight the growing issue and concerns.
Along with our two other staff groups, supporting LGBT staff and colleagues with a disability, members are given a voice to raise issues that matter to them and have the opportunity to work with other staff and customers to make a difference.
BME group member and Neighbourhood Services Director Sarah Paton said: “This week we’re supporting National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
“Recently the BME staff group has been taking a fresh look at our priorities for the next 12 months and this is a really topical issue for our members.
“We’ve asked Riverside to back this campaign because it’s more important than ever to show that we won’t tolerate hate crime and that we’ll support those affected.”