Has there been an increase in hate crime since Brexit?
The Number of hate crimes reported to the police in England and Wales between 2012-13 and 2016-17 jumped by 90%, but is this because of an actual, underlying increase in hate crime incidents (or the seriousness of incidents that would warrant reporting), or is it just because people are now more likely to report ‘hate crimes’, maybe having interpreted something as a hate crime when, in fact, it wasn’t.
There is some evidence that suggests ‘misinterpreting’ or ‘over-reporting might be the case – court convictions in 2016 were lower than in 2010.
Possible increases for the increase in reporting are as follows:
- The authorities actively encourage it
- incidents can be registered anonymously
- The victim or witness to a crime only has to interpret a crime as being racially motivated (for example) for it to be classed as a hate crime.
- No evidence is needed to back up the reporting of the hate crime to get it recorded.
So it might just be, that there has not been an increase in hate crime at all, this could just be a complete social construction.
In fact, this ‘increase’ might be harmful – in that it suggests that we are more divided than we actually are!
The Week, 16 December 2017.
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