United Kingdom

The United Kingdom regularly reports hate crime data to ODIHR. The United Kingdom’s hate crime laws are a combination of general penalty-enhancement provisions and substantive offences. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, hate crime data are collected by the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office. In Scotland, data are collected by the Procurator Fiscal. Police and prosecution data, which cover the reporting period from April to March of the following year, are regularly published. The United Kingdom conducts regular victimization surveys to measure unreported hate crimes.

Legislation | TANDIS

SELECT YEAR

Official country information

Year Hate crimes recorded by police Prosecuted Sentenced
2015   62518 21300 13103
2014   52853 4872 549
2013   47986 19689 12353
2012   47676 19205 10794
2011 50688 19802 12651
2010 53946 19342 11405
2009 58692 13030 10690
Bias motivationType of crimeRecorded by police
Racism and xenophobiaUnspecified49419
Anti-SemitismUnspecified786
Bias against Muslims-2372
Bias against Christians and members of other religionsUnspecified1055
Bias against LGBT peopleUnspecified8252
Bias against people with disabilities and other groupsUnspecified3629

Hate crimes recorded by police by bias motivation

Official figures recorded 49,419 racist hate crimes in England and Wales.

This figure includes crimes targeting groups defined by race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origin, and Gypsy or Irish Travellers. This figure includes an unspecified number of anti-Semitic crimes, as well as crimes targeting Roma and Sinti.

As divided by type of crime:

Official figures recorded 786 anti-Semitic hate crimes in England and Wales.

As divided by type of crime:

Official figures recorded 2,372 crimes based on intolerance against Muslims in England and Wales.

Official figures recorded 1,055 crimes based on bias against religion in England and Wales.

This category includes 316 hate crimes targeting Christians, 61 targeting Sikhs, 46 targeting Hindus, and 26 against Jehovah's Witnesses.

As divided by type of crime:

Official figures recorded 7,194 crimes based on bias against sexual orientation, and 858 crimes based on bias against transgender people in England and Wales.

As divided by type of crime:

Official figures recorded 3,629 crimes based on bias against people with disabilities in England and Wales.

As divided by type of crime:

Hate crimes recorded by police by type of crime

As divided by bias motivation:

National developments

A new guidance on hate crime was published by the College of Policing, which aims at helping police officers reduce the under-reporting of hate crimes. The guidance further recognized emerging challenges such as internet-based offences and improving police response to hate crime against people with disabilities.

The Welsh Assembly published its hate crime strategy, Tackling hate crimes and incidents: a framework for action, focusing on three objectives: prevention, supporting victims and improving multi-agency response.

The Office of the Mayor of London published a hate crime strategy for London. The strategy identifies a number of objectives for the period from 2014 to 2017, including disseminating hate crime resources for educational institutions; developing an awareness campaign in London; developing a smartphone app for reporting incidents; developing a third party telephone reporting mechanism across London to supplement already existing local mechanisms; co-operating with the Ministry of Justice to develop resources within the True Vision hate crime reporting information website that are specific to London; developing with the Metropolitan Police Service a map of London’s hate crime hotspots; improving the use of enhanced sentencing by judges in “hostility-based offences” by urging the Home Secretary to introduce new sentencing guidelines for hate crimes and the recording of enhanced sentences on the Police National Computer.  

Civil society information

Overview of incidents reported by civil society

Bias Motivation Attacks Against People Attacks Against Property
Violent Attacks Threats
Racism and xenophobia361110
Anti-Semitism880152
Bias against Muslims964073
Bias against Christians and members of other religions101
Bias against LGBT people240
Bias against people with disabilities and other groups110
Total22456236
Grand Total516

Reports

Racism and xenophobia
  • MEND reported 32 physical assaults, three of which were carried out by groups and which caused serious injuries, also including three assaults involving the use of weapons. Two of the assaults involved robbery and three also involved damage to property. These 32 physical assaults targeted four women and 11 assaults targeted taxi drivers. The victims were Asian, Indian, Egyptian, Algerian, Sudanese, Somali, Iranian, Turkish and Iraqi-Kurd.

    MEND also reported one attempted physical assault, one attempted robbery, ten incidents of threats, one arson attack, seven incidents of damage to property and two incidents of graffiti.

  • Tell MAMA reported two physical assaults, both of which were carried out by groups, one targeting a Sudanese man and the other targeting an Asian man, who was seriously injured. MEND and Tell MAMA also reported one threat.

Anti-Semitism
  • The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Human Rights first, the CST and the Kantor Centre reported one physical assault in which a group attacked a group of Jewish men, one of whom was hospitalized.

    The ADL reported two physical assaults, including one in which a large group attacked a group of people congregated in a Synagogue, and one incident of vandalism. MEND and Tell MAMA reported one incident of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim graffiti.

  • The Community Security Trust (CST) and the Kantor Centre reported 85 physical assaults, four of which caused serious injuries; and 65 incidents of damage to property, including 24 incidents that targeted personal property, six incidents targeting synagogues, one against a cemetery and five that involved the hacking of websites. The CST also reported 85 incidents of vandalism and graffiti on non-Jewish property.

Bias against Muslims
  • MEND and Tell MAMA reported the attempted murder of a woman wearing a headscarf, who was pushed in front of an incoming train in a subway station; ten physical assaults, including one which involved the use of an air-rifle and three targeting women; one threat; one arson attack against a mosque; the bombing of a Muslim cultural centre; one attempted arson attack; two incidents of damage to mosques; nine incidents of vandalism ,including eight with graffiti; and one incident of the desecration of Muslim graves.

  • MEND reported 27 physical assaults, two of which resulted in the death of the victims, two of which were carried out by large groups, and three of which involved weapons. MEND also reported eight incidents of threat; one arson attack ,in which a car wash was also covered in anti-Muslim graffiti; one attempted arson attack; six incidents of damage to property, three of which targeted mosques; 16 incidents of vandalism; and one incident of the desecration of a mosque.

  • Tell MAMA reported an additional attempted murder, in which a group tried to push a woman wearing a headscarf in front of an incoming train; 54 physical assaults, including 27 that targeted women; three attempted physical assaults, one in which a large group attacked and harassed a group of women; 31 incidents of threats; one arson attack on a mosque; 14 incidents of damage to property, including six targeting mosques and eight private property; and 18 incidents of vandalism, of which 15 involved graffiti.

Bias against Christians and members of other religions
  • The Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe (OIDC) reported one physical assault and one incident of damage to a church

Bias against LGBT people
  • Transgender Europe reported the murder of an incarcerated transgender person.

  • Galop reported a physical assault carried out by a group in which a gay man was stabbed and suffered serious injuries; one robbery targeting a gay man, in which a baseball bat and knife were used by a group; and four incidents of threats, with victims including a transgender woman and a man with intellectual disability.

Bias against people with disabilities and other groups
  • Tell MAMA reported one physical assault in which a young boy with disabilities was assaulted on a bus, and one threat against a Turkish man that involved both anti-disability and anti-Muslim verbal abuse.

IGO information

Developments

Racism and xenophobia
  • In its "Concluding observations on the seventh periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) recommended that the existing legislation and policy to counter hate crimes be effectively implemented, reporting improved, and that cases should be thoroughly investigated, with perpetrators prosecuted and appropriately sentenced.

    In its fifth report on the United Kingdom, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommended that data be gathered where enhanced sentencing was applied; and to monitor cases where bias aggravation was invoked and then withdrawn during the plea bargain.

ODIHR key observations

ODIHR observes that the United Kingdom has met most OSCE commitments on hate crime data collection and reporting.