Huge rise in recorded hate crime should not be dismissed – but the Home Office is trying

The launch of the Metropolitan Police's Disability Hate Crime Matters initiative.

The launch of the Metropolitan Police’s Disability Hate Crime Matters initiative.

Is the rise of disability hate crime due to better recording by police? Or is it a sign of a real rise? I think the latter.

As the UK slips further towards fascism, we see an increasing focus on identifying people who are different from “us” as a unifying cause – bringing the country together in dislike of the unlike.

Recently, refugees and economic migrants have borne the brunt of attention by the compliant mass media, but disabled people have been putting up with the same treatment for years.

The DWP has taught the UK’s people to disregard the protestations of the disabled that they are disabled, and to accuse them of “faking” it. They are “scroungers”, we’re told. “Shirkers”. “Skivers”.

Some people, exposed to this propaganda, react towards the disabled with hate speech. Others, with violence.

I think it is potentially dangerous to attribute the rise in disability hate crime to improved recording methods.

But then, the only victims are disabled – so who cares?

New Home Office figures show the number of disability hate crimes recorded by police increased by more than 40 per cent last year.

The percentage increase in recorded disability hate crime by police forces across England and Wales was higher than for any other hate crime strand.

One disabled campaigner said it was “both a relief and a sadness” to see the figures, as they were beginning to show the true levels of disability hate crime but also demonstrated that years of work to encourage more disabled people to report such offences were paying off.

The Home Office figures show there were 3,629 disability hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales in 2015-16, compared with 2,515 in 2014-15 and only 1,748 in 2011-12, meaning they have more than doubled in just four years.

The Home Office said it was possible that some of the increase could be due to an increase in actual disability hate crime, but that improved reporting and recording was likely to be a factor across all the strands of hate crime, including race, religion and sexual orientation.

Source: Huge rise in recorded hate crime, but full picture yet to emerge, say campaigners

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6 thoughts on “Huge rise in recorded hate crime should not be dismissed – but the Home Office is trying

  1. rupertrlmitchell

    I fear that the DWP have made so many comments which give the general public (which is fortunate in not being disabled) the impression that the majority of disabled people are scroungers. There can be no doubt that a very small minority may well be scroungers but the emphasis should not be placed on the majority.

    The DWP needs a thorough overhaul and I feel certain that when we have a decent caring government with Jeremy Corbyn as PM a decent balance will be made to enable both those fortunate enough to be able to work and made a success of their lives as well as those who are, for whatever genuine reason, unable to are assisted and promoted accordingly.

  2. NMac

    Tories and other right-wing reactionaries have been stirring racial animosity and hatred for many years now, in fact I wonder if many of them have never moved on from the days of Enoch Powell. The recent unnecessary referendum appears to have brought many extremely unpleasant racial bigots “out of the woodwork” and into the open. It seems they believe they can give free reign to their nasty hatred.

  3. mohandeer

    So all the polish and immigrants suffering abuse, all the Muslims seeing a rise in Islamaphobia and all the Jews announcing a rise in anti-Semitism can be re-assured by the Home Office statement:
    …”it was possible that some of the increase could be due to an increase in hate crime, but that improved reporting and recording was likely to be a factor across all the strands of hate crime, including race, religion and sexual orientation.”
    That should be very reassuring to all victims of hate crime. I feel much better knowing that the Government’s stigmatising of Islam, disabled and immigrants” has been factored into calculations of reality.

  4. yarmouthboy

    Crime figures published by the Home Office are based upon stats provided by each Police Force across the country. The”classes” of crime were pre-determined by the Home Office so that they can ensure commonality across the board.

    The Home Office figures rely on two things.
    1) To be a RECORDED crime it must be issued with a Crime Reference Number and assigned to one of the Home Office crime classes.
    2) The exact nature of the crime has to be accurately identified and, more importantly, assigned to the CORRECT crime class.
    Some crimes may be REPORTED but not Recorded as they are not considered to be an “identifiable” crime in the view of the Duty Inspector. As such reported crime figures are higher than recorded crimes.
    Hate crimes are sometimes difficult to determine if they are part of aggravated assault for example. So, it is not impossible for some crimes to be unreported in the Police crime figures but instead increase the number of aggravated assault.
    This is why the Home Office can never be sure that the stats accurately reflect the actual number of crimes in some of the crime classes. Hence their rather woolly wording of their response when pressed on the whether the number of reported hate crimes has increased due to more REPORTED crimes being included in the figures or whether the number of RECORDED crimes have been properly classed as hate crimes.

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