Hate crimes: Rise in offences linked to religious beliefs

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Hate crime overall has reached an all-time high, according to the Home Office figures, rising 17 per cent to 94,098 a year ago.

Hate crime is defined as any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim...

The bulletin showed that the majority (76 per cent) of hate crimes in 2017-2018 accounted for race hate crimes, with a total of 71,251 cases having been registered.

Reported religious hate crimes increased by 40 percent in the two years to March, to 8,336 incidents, representing nine percent of all hate crimes.

This is partly because of improvements in the way crimes are recorded but there have been spikes after events such as the Brexit referendum and the terrorist attacks past year.

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The five types of hate crime that are now recognised are those based on race or ethnicity, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, and transgender identity.

Most of the recorded crime targeting Muslims and religiously motivated hate crime constituted 52 percent of all offences.

However, other terrorist attacks do fit within the centrally monitored hate crime strands, such as the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, which did appear to be against a specific religion so is included as a hate crime in the report.

In a statement released by the United Kingdom government, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid said, "Hate crime goes directly against the long-standing British values of unity, tolerance and mutual respect - and I am committed to stamping this sickening behaviour out".

Last year, 2,271 hate crimes were recorded as "violence against the person" - more than any other single type of crime and up 17% from the year before.

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The Law Commission, an independent body, is reviewing the effectiveness of current hate crime legislation and assessing whether offenses should be added to the list. If you are willing to share your experiences with us email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist.

Avon and Somerset Police are taking part in National Hate Crime Awareness Week to encourage victims to come forward following an increase in the crime.

The review will help determine if crimes motivated by ageism, bias against punk and goth subcultures, misogyny and misandry (prejudice against men) should be classified as hate crimes.

"Our refreshed action plans set out how we will tackle the root causes of prejudice and racism, support hate crime victims and ensure offenders face the full force of law", he said.

Of almost 8,300 reported reasons for hate crimes across the six forces in the east of England, 1,311 were due to disability.

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"Sadly, we still hear incidents of intolerance, whether it's a migrant being told they don't belong, a disabled child being verbally abused, a Muslim woman having her veil torn off or anonymous keyboard cowards infecting the internet with hatred".

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