Tuesday, March 2News For London

Hate crime surges in the UK

Residents in the UK have been experiencing a rise of hate crimes according to Office of National Statistics. Hate crimes and incidents rose 15 per cent from 2013 to 2015.

Britons protesting against hate crime Trafalgar Square in 2009.
Britons protesting against hate crime Trafalgar Square in 2009.

Photo credit: Flickr

 

Overall, there were 52,528 hate crimes recorded in the UK from 2014 to 2015.  Hate crime involves verbal abuse or hate speech, violence against a person, public order offences, criminal damage and arson.

The most common among these crimes are public order offences and violence against the person states the Office of National Statistics. The most recent case of hate crime reported, was of three teenage boys who were attacked by a group of youths, in Derry, Northern Ireland on Friday 11th December. The youngest among the attackers is 13-years-old reports the Derry Journal.

Who are the usual victims of hate crime?

Victims of hate crimes are those individuals who have disabilities, belong to the transgender community, a different race, religion, and those who with an unconventional sexual orientation.

Among the hate crime recorded between 2014 to 2015, 82 per cent of the cases were racially motivated crimes, 11 per cent of the crimes were committed against homosexuals  and 6 per cent of the cases were religiously motivated crimes.

About 11 per cent of adults in the UK are very worried that they may become a victim of a violent, physical crime due to their skin colour and ethnicity.This fear was evident in Asians and Black minorities in comparison to Whites, according to the survey conducted by Crime Survey of England and Wales.

Speaking to Westminster World, Geoffrey Ginu, a victim of hate crime recounted his experience: “I was alone after midnight in London. A bunch of young guys across the street threw their beer bottles at me, ordering me to go back to my country. Just because I have brown skin. I escaped from that place, fearing that they would attack me.”

In this milieu of distrust and fear, everyone is on guard. Speaking to Westminster World, PCSO Thomas Jones of the Metropolitan Police said: “We are more than capable of dealing with these types of situations. Britons do not live in fear. The public has to stay vigilant and report to the police if they undergo such experiences.

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Why do they occur?

The misrepresentation of race, religion and various communities by the media is the main cause.

Speaking to Westminster World, a representative of Stop Islamophobia UK said : “The only way to stop hate is by spreading awareness and knowledge. Hate crimes occur due to misinformation and fear mongering by the media.  And sadly, it doesn’t look like its going to stop anytime soon.”

What are its effects on the victims?  

About 92 per cent of hate crime victims claimed that they were emotionally affected by the incident. They also believed that they would be attacked again. About 27 per cent of victims were attacked more than once, in comparison to the 35 per cent of victims who rented houses from the local council, according to the Office of National Statistics.

As per the data provided by the Crime Survey of England and Wales, victims of hate crime experienced:

  • Annoyance
  • Anger
  • Shock
  • Constant fear
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of confidence
  • Depression

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