Hate Crime, England and Wales, 2017/18
Religious hate crimes have surged by 40% in England and Wales, according to figures released by the UK government Tuesday.
Statistics detailed in the Home Office’s annual report revealed that 52% of religious hate crimes targeted Muslims. They also showed that the number of offenses recorded by police rose to an all-time high of 94,098 — 17% higher than last year and more than double the number five years ago.
More than three-quarters of hate crimes were racially motivated, the report said, with hate crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation making up 12%, religious hate crimes 9%, disability hate crimes 8% and transgender hate crimes 2%. The Home Office noted that some offenses had more than one motivating factor.
The report said hate crimes in all categories had increased but added that the rise is thought to be “largely driven by improvements in police recording.”
The report also showed that the Jewish community was the second most common target of religious hate crimes.
The UK’s Labour Party, long considered a natural home for British Jews, has also been embroiled for more than two years in a bitter dispute over the extent of antisemitism within its ranks.
“Today’s shocking revelation of a 40% rise in religious hate crime must serve as an urgent call to action,” Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said in a statement posted to Twitter.