Police are failing to meet target response times to ‘hate crimes’ in England and Wales in 3 out of every 4 cases. The first ever comprehensive report into hate crime – has found many victims were being ‘let down’ because of poor recording and response.
The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary – which was commissioned by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary – found that out of 180 sample cases in 65 victims never received a visit from police respond within an hour of a call by a victim.
It found that on average, in more than half the other 115 cases, it was five days before an officer visited the victim. HMIC inspector Wendy Williams said that it is a “priority for the service’ to meet the target and that no force has said it can’t do so. Her report found recorded hate crime had risen 57% in the two years between 2014/15 to 2016/17. Race was the motivating factor in 70% of the 93,315 cases, followed by sexual orientation in 11% of cases. There were “hate crime” spikes around the time of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and the greatest surge just after the Brexit referendum result.
The report warns forces there is a “real possibility that there will be a similar increase in reports in 2019 if, as is anticipated by the Government, the UK formally leave the EU.” Many police forces are praised for their efforts, but the HMIC urges “continued focus on hate crime” is imperative. In response to the report, the Equality and Human Rights Commission is calling on the Government to carry a full review of the law to ensure it’s fit for purpose.
Chief Executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath, said: “We are seeing too much damage inflicted, with serious, long-term and sometimes tragic consequences, by hatred directed on-line and otherwise, and it’s not getting better.”