Hate crime offences up 17% in England and Wales

The number of hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales in 2017-18 has increased by 17% on the previous year.

Hate crime is defined as "any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic".

There were 94,098 hate crime offences recorded in 2017-18, most of them race-related.

The latest figures show an upward trend in recent years with hate crimes more than doubling since 2012-13, when 42,255 were recorded.

The government says the increase is thought to be largely driven by improvements in police recording, but also said the spikes in hate crime followed certain events such as the EU referendum and the terrorist attacks in 2017.

Motivating factors shows hate crimes relating to race were most common, followed by sexual orientation.

Here is a breakdown of the five strands of hate crime that are monitored:

Race hate crimes - 71,251 (76%)
Sexual orientation hate crimes - 11,638 (12%)
Religious hate crimes - 8,336 (9%)
Disability hate crimes - 7,226 (8%)
Transgender hate crimes - 1,651 (2%)

It is possible for a hate crime offence to have more than one motivating factor, which is why the numbers sum to more than 94,098 - and the percentages to more than 100.

The report says terrorist activity, such as the Manchester Arena attack, may be motivated by a hatred towards general British or Western values rather than one of the five specific strands and is therefore not covered by the statistics.

However, other terrorist attacks do fit within the centrally monitored hate crime strands, such as the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, which did appear to be against a specific religion so is included as a hate crime in the report.

Hate crime data are supplied to the Home Office by the 43 territorial police forces of England and Wales, plus the British Transport Police.

The figures come as the Law Commission considers whether offences motivated by the dislike, contempt or ingrained prejudice against women or men should be treated as a hate crime.

It will also consider if prejudice based on age or hatred of certain subcultures, including goths or punks, would be a hate crime.