The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) has reported rise in hate crimes in Britain:
Yesterday’s figures show that the levels of hate crime in Britain are worse than were previously thought. The 52,028 incidents recorded by police forces in England and Wales in 2009 is a 12 per cent increase on the 46,300 said to have occurred in 2008. In 2009 there were 43,426 race-related hate crimes recorded by police forces in England and Wales. This is a 10 per cent increase on the 39,300 estimated to have taken place in 2008. Crimes committed due to the victim’s sexuality increased by 12 per cent, from 4,300 to 4,805. The biggest rise was seen in crimes motivated by a person’s disability. They rose from an estimated 800 to 1,402 – a 75 per cent rise.
Assessing the true level of such crimes is always difficult. This methodology has only been used since 2008, and this only records crimes which have been reported. Sometimes a rise can reflect a greater willingness of victims to come forward, or a greater awareness that such things should be reported as hate crimes. Despite all these caveats though, this report still paints a depressing picture. There have been some horrific hate crimes attacks in the last year highlighted by the press, but this report makes it clear that those stories were only the tip of the iceberg.
The question often asked about hate crimes is why are seen as any worse then other crimes? A broken nose is a broken nose whether it has been broken because the victim is brown or because he spilled a drink on someone. The reason for recording hate crimes as such is to try and tackle the elements which leads to such attacks, whether it is racism, disabilism, sexism or another -ism. This may come in the form of trying to change attitudes, or improving protection for vulnerable groups (so more support for people with learning difficulties for example).
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Current affairs,Disability,Race politics