North Yorkshire Police’s hate crime co-ordinator said victims of hateful harassment, vandalism and violence were still reluctant to report offences for various reasons, but that, for many, it was a “common occurrence”.
Pc Stuart Henderson said: “I think that, currently, around LGBT hate crimes, people may not come forwards because they may not be officially ‘out’ to their families.
“But currently, when it comes to hate crimes based on race and religion, people have often sadly lived with abuse and prejudice all their lives and will only call police when something serious has happened, such as a window being broken.
Across Yorkshire, figures over recent years have showed dramatic increases in hate crime, attributed in part to increased awareness and improved crime recording practices.
Last financial year, West Yorkshire Police prosecuted 566 hate crimes, of which 180 were against police officers.
North Yorkshire Police similarly charged 43 people with hate crime offences, of which 11 were allegedly against an officer, and recorded an overall 575 hate crimes in this period – the majority of which were reported in York and Harrogate.
Some 1,615 hate crimes were reported to Humberside Police in 2019 – a 40 per cent increase from two years before.
No recent data is currently available for South Yorkshire Police.
Pc Henderson predicted that, if all victims of hate crime reported it, there would be a “200 to 300 per cent increase”.
“No matter how big or small, if you are victim of or witness a hate crime we want to help,” he added.
“We will do everything to stop hateful behaviour happening in North Yorkshire.”
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