Hate crime on the increase in Derbyshire

Hate crime is on the increase in DerbyshireHate crime is on the increase in Derbyshire
Hate crime is on the increase in Derbyshire
Hate crime is on the increase in Derbyshire, according to new figures.

Derbyshire Police said 509 people reported offences between August 2015 and August 2016 compared to 421 the previous year - a 20 per cent increase.

In the most recent period, race was the most common motivation behind the hate crimes reported to police.

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Hate crime is an offence perceived by the victim or another person as being motivated by prejudice, hate or intolerance on the grounds of disability, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

Assistant Chief Constable Bill McWilliam said: “We did see a slight rise in the number of reported hate crimes in the weeks following the Brexit vote in June but the figures soon returned to a level we have typically seen in the past.

“The rise can also be attributed to an increase in confidence in reporting. More people are becoming aware of what constitutes a hate crime and feel able to come forward and talk to police about it.

“I would urge anyone who feels they have been a victim of hate crime to come forward. Crimes based on hatred will never be tolerated in Derbyshire.”

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Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is estimated that roughly 75 per cent of hate crimes go unreported, which is a shocking state of affairs.

“I welcome any rise in the number of incidents reported, as only by people coming forward can we really get to the root of the problems and stamp out this totally unacceptable behaviour. Many people may think that what they are experiencing as a victim of hate crime is not important and don't want to trouble anyone. I say if you report it then it helps to ensure that the future behaviour of these perpetrators is stopped and tackled.

“I think that people now do have more confidence to report such problems, but clearly there is a lot more work to be done.”