Hate crime on the rise in Yorkshire

Hate crime has risen by more than 15 per cent compared to last year, new figures suggest.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd last week unveiled a plan to tackle hate crime.

Data released by police across the UK under the Freedom of Information Act shows 6,224 offences were reported in June 2016, compared to 5,405 during the same month in 2015.

The national rise in hate crimes linked to race and faith is greater still at 18 per cent, with race accounting for 76 per cent of all hate crimes in June this year.

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Thirty-seven forces that gave data recorded 5,278 race and faith crimes in June 2016, compared to 4,474 last year.

Some of the biggest leaps in all hate crime were seen in Cambridgeshire, Cleveland, Durham, Northumbria and the Humber, the research by housing association Viridian Housing showed.

Humberside Police recorded 65 hate crimes in June 2016, a rise of more than three-quarters on the same month in 2015.

Both North Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Police recorded rises that were below the national figure, while South Yorkshire Police did not respond.

North Yorkshire Police saw a 14.3 per cent rise, with a total of 32 hate crimes in June this year.

Although West Yorkshire recorded a lower percentage rise at 6.5 per cent, it had the highest number of reported hate crimes in Yorkshire with 342 in the calendar month this year.

This covers the period leading up to and following the EU referendum, which has been widely linked to a surge in reported hate crime.

Last week Home Secretary Amber Rudd unveiled an action plan to tackle hate crime, including an assessment of how police respond to the issue. Prosecutors will be urged to press for tougher sentences for perpetrators, while a £2.4 million fund will be set up for security measures and equipment at places of worship.

Viridian Housing, which has 16,000 homes in the Midlands, West Sussex and London, has started handing out Red Cards to residents with contact information needed to report hate crime or get support.

Director of operations Matt Campion: “We would urge all housing associations to reach out to their residents about this issue. We all have a responsibility.”