Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alarming Rise in Number of Religious Hate Crimes

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alarming Rise in Number of Religious Hate Crimes

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Marsh Reporter

RELIGIOUS hate crime more than doubled in Tyne and Wear last year, new figures show, as officials bid to raise awareness of a growing issue.

The number of religiously motivated hate crimes recorded by Northumbria Police jumped from 20 in 2013-14 to 48 in 2014-15, according to statistics.

In total there were 912 hate crimes in the area in 2014-15, an increase of 35% compared to 2013-14 - a leap of nearly twice the national average.

The figures, released by the Home Office, also show that there has been an 80% increase in crime motivated by sexual orientation over the past 12 months, with the 44 crimes in 2013-14 rising to 79 in 2014-15.

The stats come ahead of a one-day conference on Thursday to highlight the impact of hate crime and explore how the North East can work together to tackle it.

Race hate crime remains by far the most common type of hate crime in the area after a 34% increase to 782 crimes in 2014-15.

And religious leaders have called for unity to bring to North East together.

Hari Shukla, from the Newcastle Council of Faiths, said: "In Newcastle, we have the council which works together and brings all religions in the community together. "But not every area has one of these so it is down to individuals to sort it out and it can become more difficult. This might be one of the reasons why the figures fluctuate.

"We all have to work together to help tackle the problem."

Hate crimes motivated by disability dropped by 15% while transgender hate crimes rose from four to nine.

Across the whole of England and Wales, 52,528 hate crimes were recorded by police in 2014-15, an increase of nearly a fifth (18%) compared to the 44,471 crimes recorded in 2013-14.

The figures are even more alarming given that the rate of increase in hate crimes has more than trebled this year. In 2013-14 there had only been a 5% increase compared to 2012-13. …

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