Figures from the independent charity, Victim Support show that since lockdown restrictions begun easing in England in the week commencing 29th March, all hate crime referrals increased to 67% above average levels.
Within this figure, the number of people seeking support for race and nationality hate crime in England and Wales increased to a shocking 73% above average.
During that week, Victim Support received a total of 663 hate crime reports from victims seeking help. Of those cases, 514 were race and nationality offences, which spiked significantly from 405 referrals the charity received the week prior to lockdown easing.
Hate crime has been gradually increasing over the last month, but this latest surge – a rise of 26% compared to the previous week – raises concerns about the link between easing and hate crime.
It is likely that these spikes are also related to events such as #StopAsianHate and coverage related to the trial of George Floyd’s murder, all of which helped increase awareness and empowered people to come forward and seek support.
Diana Fawcett, Chief Executive of Victim Support, said: “We are extremely concerned that we’ve seen this huge jump in racially aggravated hate crime and very strongly condemn all types of discrimination.
“Despite the fact that hate crime is under reported, we are still seeing high numbers of victims seeking support following racial hate crime and know too well the devastating impact it can have. Victims not only live with pain and suffering from facing horrendous abuse, but it damages their sense of safety, wellbeing and self-worth which takes years to re-build.
“The time is now, when we must work together to create communities that are inclusive and continue to call out racism in all its forms. We want victims to know that hate crime is a serious offence and there is support available to anyone who needs it. No one should ever fear being abused or discriminated against simply because of the way that they look or colour of their skin.”
At its most extreme, hate crime can leave people homeless. It can make people feel so unsafe that they are forced to leave an area. It can also result in financial loss from repairing damage, dealing with graffiti, replacing possessions and increasing home and personal security.
Victim Support provides practical help and emotional support to victims of all types of crime, including hate crime, regardless of whether the incident has been reported to the police.
Anyone seeking help or information can access Victim Support’s online resource, My Support Space, a secure and confidential space where victims can choose how they want to be supported after crime. Visit www.mysupportspace.org.uk or contact the charity’s free 24/7 Supportline on 0808 16 89 111.
Notes to Editors
- Victim Support saw a 73% rise in race and nationality hate crime for week commencing 29/03/2021 compared to the average per week between 06/01/2020-01/03/2020.
- Victim Support saw a 67% rise in All hate crime categories including race and nationality, sexual orientation, religion, disability and transgender identity week commencing 29/03/2021 compared to the average per week 06/01/2020-01/03/2020.
- Hate crime is the term used to describe a crime against someone that is motivated by hatred or hostility towards that person’s disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
About Victim Support
Victim Support is an independent charity that provides specialist practical help and emotional support to victims of all crime and major incidents across England and Wales.
We provide support and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether or not the incident has been reported to the police.
Anyone seeking help can contact our free 24/7 Supportline number on 0808 16 89 111 or get in touch via the website – www.victimsupport.org.uk