The myth of rising hate crime

Fraser Myers – Spiked Online Oct 17, 2019

Hate crimes have ‘doubled’ in the past six years, if you believe headlines in the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Daily Mail. The BBC reports a less dramatic but still shocking 10 per cent rise in hate crime compared to last year, from 94,121 to 103,379 offences in England and Wales. Every year, the press presents terrifying figures illustrating an apparent explosion in hate crime. But there is no evidence that hate crime is on the rise.

Every year, the same, small caveat appears in the Home Office’s hate-crime report: ‘The increases seen over the last five years are thought to have been driven by improvements in crime recording by the police… These improvements are thought to be the main drivers for the increases seen.’

Every year, in contrast to the media’s frightful certainty, the Home Office report is full of ‘mights’, ‘mays’ and other bet-hedging. Take hate crime against trans people. Apparently there has been a surge of 37 per cent in these crimes on last year. But the Home Office report is much more guarded: it says that ‘improvements made by the police’ in ‘identification’ and ‘recording’ are the most likely cause of the rise, but ‘genuine increases cannot be ruled out’. In other words, alarming statistics showing a huge rise in transphobic hate crime of 37 per cent may or may not have any relation to actual crimes, according to the people who compiled the statistics.

Rises in hate crime have been blamed on everything from Brexit to Boris’s outburst on the burqa. This year, The Times and the Mail blamed uncivil language on social media for stoking hate. But the real blame for the surge is the release of the College of Policing’s Hate Crime Operational Guidance in 2014, which is still used to this day. This guidance actually demands that the numbers increase. ‘Targets that see success as reducing hate crime are not appropriate’, it says. Since then there have also been a number of awareness-raising campaigns around hate crime, particularly in the wake of the EU referendum. In 2017, London mayor Sadiq Khan launched the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Online Hate Crime Hub’. Unsurprisingly, police-recorded hate crime has gone up every year since 2014 without fail. In comparison, over the same period, the crime rate more broadly has remained relatively stable.

In fact, when you look at statistics that are, according to the Home Office, ‘unaffected by changes in recording practice’, you find the complete opposite. The Crime Survey for England and Wales doesn’t provide information on short-term rises and falls but over the long term the trend is clear: over the past decade, it shows a fall in hate crime of 40 per cent. The CPS’s prosecution statistics paint a similar picture. Despite surges in the number of reports made to the police, the number of people actually being prosecuted for hate crimes has also fallen. Hate-crime prosecutions peaked in 2015-16 with 15,442 and have fallen every year since to 11,881 in 2017-18 (the latest year available).

But the problems with police-recorded hate crime don’t end there. Police are obliged to record not only criminal actions but also all non-crime hate incidents. A non-crime hate incident is literally any event that is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility towards a so-called protected characteristic. ‘Perceived’ is the key word here. As the Operational Guidance makes clear: ‘The victim does not have to justify or provide evidence of their belief, and police officers or staff should not directly challenge this perception. Evidence of the hostility is not required for an incident or crime to be recorded as a hate crime or hate incidents.’

In other words, for an incident to appear in the police-recorded hate-crime data, there does not have to be any evidence of any ‘hatred’, nor does the incident even have to be a crime. The only real basis for establishing that a hate crime took place is that somebody reported it to the police. ‘Racist’ non-crime incidents recorded by police as hate crimes over the past five years have included a dog fouling on a neighbour’s lawn, a woman beeping a car, and a speech by Amber Rudd.

Sometimes the ‘hateful’ nature of a crime is later disproven, but that makes no difference to the statistics. Take the manslaughter of Arek Jozwik, a Polish man living in Harlow, which was leapt on by Remain commentators as evidence of a Brexit-motivated racist murder. Police also recorded it as a hate crime. And even though it became apparent in investigations that there was no racial motive, Jozwik’s tragic, accidental killing remains recorded as a hate crime.

Clearly, the police-recorded data tells us very little about prejudice in modern Britain. We should take media reports of rising hatred with a huge serving of salt. And we should be even more wary of those who use this narrative for propaganda purposes.

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8 responses to “The myth of rising hate crime”

  1. My grand father was a london police chief in ww w 2
    A lot of graffiti and swasticas were painted on shops pavements
    and the wall of the Leyton Orient football club.
    The Rabbi was constantly on the news complaining about how jews were being harassed and constantly tortured through this graffiti, he accused my grandad of not doing enough.
    My grandad as cheif of police went to see the rabbi, and told him in no uncertain language that unless the swasticas stopped being painted, there definately would be arrests.
    The Rabbi apologised and said it will not happen again

  2. That’s a brilliant story Carol Ann.

  3. The biggest hate crimes are done by governments not individuals
    the Hoax of the 9 11 done by jews in the senate
    or the holocaust is another
    this fabuous website spills the beans on what a fraud the holocaust really is
    https://codoh.com/library/document/4089/

  4. If everyone hated everyone equally would there still be hate crimes?

  5. Well.. Best example is here in Melbourne A DJ schmuck (Anabel “respected” journalist) on a radio station today (23/10/19) is very concerned & very upset that some Idiots have graffiti-ed the Richmond Silos with “swastikas” ??
    That Sudanese/Somalis gangs invade homes, carjacks cars, rampage through shops & steal,assault women & old people , he’s not concerned at all ? But Swastikas ?? OMG !! The Beast is back ??

  6. Harbinger, regarding my recent comments to you here: thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=196526, reviewing Miles Mathis’ paper on the Unibomber (milesmathis.com/unibomber.pdf) last night, I was reminded again that, according to Miles, far left wing causes like, environmentalism, animal rights, anti warism, anti Zionism, anti monopoly capitalism, anti technocracy and scientific dictatorship, true anarchism, anti fascism, anti taxation and the Federal Reserve, selfsufficiency and independence from government and big business, the hippie lifestyle, ect. are meant to be written off and “blackwashed” and made a no-go-zone by the murderous crazies the Controllers put out in their psyops capers, like the Unibomber, Charles Manson (milesmathis.com/tate.pdf), Ezra Pound, ect., what Miles calls “Antis”, who espouse them and become closely associated with them in the public’s mind (He says they do the same to make females fear, distrust and hate men.). It’s a case of guilt by association.

    Like the way your mind works, You got good ideas. Write back on the message board some time. Or email, fleetingshadow@y7mail.com.

  7. Just to add to the confusion; the swastika in the photo is spinning the wrong way for it to be real hate! https://deuteronomy4verse2.wordpress.com/2017/05/14/direction-of-swastikas-spin/

  8. The swasticas shown are back to front
    anyone who knew anything at all would have drawn them correctly
    i suspect as these were drawn incorrectly by an ignoramus
    the complainers actually did them themselves