Part of: Crime and Disorder

Related to: Ill Health and Disability, Mental Health and Illness, Ethnicity, Sex and Gender, Travellers and Gypsy Travellers, Sexual Orientation, Faith and Belief, [[Children’s Safeguarding]], Police Assessments, Youth Offending, Homelessness, [[Housing]], Night Time Economy, Safeguarding Adults, Self-Harm, Substance Misuse, Suicide and Mortality of Undetermined Intent

Key Data

  • There were 167 hate crimes and hate incidents reported to the police in Bath and North East Somerset between Apr 2010 – Mar 2011.
  • Hate crimes and hate incidents together account for 1.5% of recorded crime in Bath and North East Somerset in 2010. However, these figures do not take factors such as repeat victimisation into account.
  • 71% of recorded hate crime in Bath and North East Somerset is racial hate crime.
  • It has been suggested that nationally estimated racial/religious hate crime is over 3.5 times that of the recorded crimes (British Crime Survey 2007/8) which would mean that in Bath and North East Somerset the 133 reported racial/religious hate crimes reported in 2010 could be closer to 483 racial/religious Hate crimes and hate incidents.1

Background

Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hostility towards someone based on their disability, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have a nationally agreed definition of Hate Crime. Hate crimes are taken to mean any crime where the perpetrator's hostility or prejudice against an identifiable group of people is a factor in determining who is victimised. This is a broad and inclusive definition. A victim does not have to be a member of the group. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime.

Hate crime can take many forms including:

  • physical attacks such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti and arson
  • threat of attack including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate, and unfounded, malicious complaints
  • verbal abuse, insults or harassment - taunting, offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or throughletterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace. 2

Hate incidents are any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate. Hate incidents include incidents against: race, religion, faith, disability, transphobic (including transgender and transvestite) and sexual orientation (heterophobic, homophobic, biphobic). 3

What does the data say?

Number of recorded Hate Crimes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between January and December 2009:

  • Race - 43,426
  • Religion/Faith - 2,083
  • Sexual Orientation - 4,805
  • Transgender - 312
  • Disability - 1,402
  • Total - 52,028 4

There is national evidence to suggest that a large amount of hate crime and hate crime incidents potentially go unreported. The police service is committed to reducing the under-reporting of hate crime and would view increases in this data as a positive indicator, so long as it reflects an increase in reporting and not an increase in the actual incidence of crime. 5

The Stonewall Gay British Crime Survey (2008) suggests that nationally a quarter of victims who reported hate incidents to the police say they were not recorded as hate incidents or crimes; Half of all hate incidents reported to the police resulted in no action being taken other than it being recorded and only one per cent of victims report that a homophobic hate crime or incident resulted in a conviction. 6

The Mental Health Charity Mind have reported that nationally:

  • 30% of victims of disability (mental health) hate crime reported incidents to the police
  • 71% of respondents felt they had been victims of hate crime related to their mental health history in the past two years
  • Nearly 90% living in local authority housing felt they had been victimised
  • 10% have been sexually assaulted 7

Action for Blind People report that around 60% of blind or partially sighted people have been a victim of verbal and/or physical abuse and only 4% of whom have told the police. 8

A number of reports suggest potential reasons why victims do not report hate crimes and hate incidents to the police. These are cross-cutting and not mutually exclusive, they include:

For victims of homophobic hate crime:

  • A third of victims do not report incidents to the police because they do not think the police would or could do anything about it
  • One in five of those who do not report incidents do not think that what they have experienced is an offence
  • Fourteen per cent of victims of homophobic hate crimes or incidents did not report them to anyone because they happen too frequently to report 9

For victims of racial hate crime:

  • The incident was too trivial to report or that the police could do very little about it
  • The incident was thought to be a private matter and/or dealt with privately 10

For victims of hate crime due to disability and learning disabilities:

  • Many do not believe that the police can do anything, especially if they are unable to identify the perpetrator or describe the incident 11

For victims of hate crime due to mental health problems:

  • Tensions between the police and people with mental distress
  • Poor mental health awareness which prevents vulnerable victims from being identified and supported
  • People with mental distress being seen as unreliable witnesses, causing cases to be dropped at the investigation stage or before they reach court. 36% of respondents not reporting a crime said they did not go to the police because they did not expect to be believed
  • Crimes happening in hospitals being downplayed by members of staff 12

Bath and North East Somerset 13

There are relatively small numbers of reported hate crimes and hate incidents in Bath and North East Somerset. There were 167 hate crimes and hate incidents reported to the police from Apr 2010 – Mar 2011.

Hate crimes and hate incidents together account for 1.5% of recorded crime in Bath and North East Somerset in 2010 (domestic violence 6%). However, these figures do not take factors such as repeat victimisation into account.

Furthermore, although these figures suggest that there does not seem to be a problem with respect to hate crime in Bath and North East Somerset there may be a hidden need in under-reporting of hate crime.

It has been suggested that nationally estimated racial/religious hate crime is over 3.5 times that of the recorded crimes (British Crime Survey 2007/8) which would mean that in Bath and North East Somerset the 133 reported racial/religious hate crimes reported in 2010 could be closer to 483 racial/religious Hate crimes and hate incidents.14

Very few hate crimes or hate incidents were recorded as sexual assault in Bath and North East Somerset (April 2008-March 2011) which suggests under-reporting of this type of crime which is supported by other national reports. 15 16

Analysis of police data in Bath and North East Somerset indicates that the volume of monthly hate crime and hate crime incidents had not changed much between April 2008 and March 2011.However, since May 2010, there has been a noticeable decrease in hate crimes and hate incidents reported to the police.

The majority of hate crimes and hate incidents in Bath and North East Somerset occur on a Friday and Saturday night and 36% of hate crimes and hate incidents are recorded in the Bath city centre, suggesting a significant relationship with the night-time economy.

Types of hate crimes and incidents 17

The vast majority (71%) of hate crimes and incidents recorded by the police in Bath and North East Somerset between February 2012 and February 2013 were motivated by racial prejudice.

A significant proportion of the hate crimes and incidents recorded by the police in Bath and North East Somerset between February 2012 and February 2013 were also motivated by homophobia (10%), prejudice against the disabled (9%), and religious hatred (5%).

Victims 18

A majority of victims of hate crime and hate incidents are male, with around a third of victims being under 25.

Of all reported hate crimes and hate incidents between April 2008 and March 2011, 67% of victims were known to be male, 33% female (nationally 68% victims were male (2009-10) 19) with around 34% of victims recorded as being under 25.

Figure 2: Breakdown of reported hate crimes and hate incidents by age of victim (April 2008 – March 2011)

The ethnicity of victims of racially/religiously aggravated crimes/incidents reported to the police in Bath and North East Somerset between April 2008 and March 2011:

  • White British – 12%
  • Other White 15%
  • Black – 18%
  • Asian – 17%
  • Other - 9%
  • Not Known - 29%

A study compiled by the police suggests that victims tend to be bus and taxi drivers, particularly those of Polish origin.

A quarter of all racial incidents where victim ethnicity is recorded the victim is “Black” and three quarters of all recorded hate crimes and hate incidents are reported as “violent crime”.

Although local numbers are too small to allow for reliable estimation, national research has suggested that black and minority ethnic lesbian and gay people are significantly more likely to have experienced a physical assault as a homophobic hate incident compared with lesbian and gay people as a whole. 20

Perpetrators 21

National surveys indicate that the majority of hate crimes are committed by strangers. 22 23 24 However, it is believed that young people are particularly vulnerable to hate incidents committed by family members. 25

Nearly three quarters of known offenders are male and over half are committed by offenders who are under 25. Most offenders in Bath and North East Somerset are classified as “White British”.

Figure 3: Breakdown of reported hate crimes and hate incidents by age of offender (April 2008 – March 2011)

Hate crime and anti-social behaviour are strongly correlated and there are complicated relationships between hate crime and anti-social behaviour as well as the night time economy.

Geographical distribution

In 2010, 36% of reported hate crimes and hate incidents occurred in Bath city centre (Abbey and Kingsmead wards, 56 incidents), 6% from Keynsham (9 incidents), 3% from Midsomer Norton Radstock.

Are we meeting the needs? 26

Encouraging reporting

Bath People First - have been trying to raise awareness of hate crime amongst disabled members, including visits from the Police hate crime officer/community advocate - to talk about what a hate crime or hate incident is, and how important it is to report it. Bath People First have also included information about hate crime and hate incidents in newsletters.

Your Say have developed an information card specifically for adults with learning difficulties with information on how to report hate crimes or hate crime incidents.

Victim support

In Bath and North East Somerset victims of hate crime are contacted by a victim advocate within 24 hours of the crime occurring with updates and information about referrals to support agencies. Victims are also able to use an online service to receive updates relating to the investigation (personal communication BANES Chief Inspector).

What can we realistically change? 27

Bath and North East Somerset Council’s 2011 Hate Crime Profile made the following suggestions to reduce hate crime and hate incidents in the area:

  • That combating crimes related to night time economy should continue in Bath City Centre and that this approach should also rolled out across the whole of Bath and North East Somerset
  • That there should be greater focus on working more with disabled people (particularly those with learning difficulties) to encourage reporting of hate crime
  • That thee should be more work targeted at students to combat offending
  • There should be a review of data recorded and supplied by commissioned agencies to assess possibility of increasing accuracy, consistency and reducing duplication.
  • 1. Jansson, K (2006) Black and Minority Ethnic groups’ experiences and perceptions of crime, racially motivated crime and the police: findings from the 2004/05 British Crime Survey, Home Office.
  • 2. The Crown Prosecution Service (2012) Hate Crime http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/fact_sheets/hate_crime/ (viewed on 30/04/13)
  • 3. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)(2005), Hate Crime Manual 2005
  • 4. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) (2009) Total of recorded hate crime from regional forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland during the calendar year 2009, http://www.acpo.police.uk/asp/policies/Data/084a_Recorded_Hate_Crime_-_January_to_December_2009.pdf
  • 5. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) (2009) Total of recorded hate crime from regional forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland during the calendar year 2009, http://www.acpo.police.uk/asp/policies/Data/084a_Recorded_Hate_Crime_-_January_to_December_2009.pdf
  • 6. Dick, S. (2008) Homophobic Hate Crime: A Gay British Crime Survey, Stonewall
  • 7. MIND (2007) Another Assault
  • 8. Action for Blind People (2008) Report on verbal and physical abuse towards blind and partially sighted people across the UK
  • 9. Dick, S. (2008) Homophobic Hate Crime: A Gay British Crime Survey, Stonewall
  • 10. Jansson, K (2006) Black and Minority Ethnic groups’ experiences and perceptions of crime, racially motivated crime and the police: findings from the 2004/05 British Crime Survey, Home Office.
  • 11. Disability Rights Commission (2004) Hate Crime against Disabled People in Scotland
  • 12. MIND (2007) Another Assault
  • 13. Freeman H (2011) Hate Crime Problem Profile, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 14. Jansson, K (2006) Black and Minority Ethnic groups’ experiences and perceptions of crime, racially motivated crime and the police: findings from the 2004/05 British Crime Survey, Home Office.
  • 15. Dick, S. (2008) Homophobic Hate Crime: A Gay British Crime Survey, Stonewall.
  • 16. Crown Prosecution Service (Dec 2010) Hate crime and crimes against older people report
  • 17. Avon and Somerset Constabulary ASPIRE data (2013) Types of hate crimes and incidents recorded by the police in Bath and North East Somerset, February 2012 – February 2013, In house analysis, Research and Intelligence Team, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 18. Freeman H (2011) Hate Crime Problem Profile, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 19. Crown Prosecution Service (Dec 2010) Hate crime and crimes against older people report
  • 20. Dick, S. (2008) Homophobic Hate Crime: A Gay British Crime Survey, Stonewall
  • 21. Freeman H (2011) Hate Crime Problem Profile, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 22. Crown Prosecution Service (Dec 2010) Hate crime and crimes against older people report
  • 23. Dick, S. (2008) Homophobic Hate Crime: A Gay British Crime Survey, Stonewall
  • 24. Jansson, K (2006) Black and Minority Ethnic groups’ experiences and perceptions of crime, racially motivated crime and the police: findings from the 2004/05 British Crime Survey, Home Office
  • 25. Dick, S. (2008) Homophobic Hate Crime: A Gay British Crime Survey, Stonewall
  • 26. Freeman H (2011) Hate Crime Problem Profile, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 27. Freeman H (2011) Hate Crime Problem Profile, Bath and North East Somerset Council