‘We have seen a welcome increase in reporting…however, this increase in reporting is also thought to reflect a genuine rise in hate crime around specific events such as the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack.’
This is according to an October 2018 update to the Government’s Hate crime action plan (pdf).
The update outlines key challenges lying ahead for tackling hate crime, including under-reporting (especially by disabled people and LGBT people), high rates of attrition in the criminal justice system; and online abuse. It also identifies particular high-risk environments, including public transport and the night-time economy.
The report goes on to set out steps it will take to progress the plan in the next two years, including:
- Challenging harmful narratives before they develop into hatred, through funding projects designed to challenge prejudice, supporting the education sector, and challenging prejudice in wider society and the media
- Addressing online harms comprehensively, including through legislation following the forthcoming White Paper
- Improving training for police and the wider criminal justice system to recognise and respond to hate crime
- Increasing reporting of hate crime through improved reporting and recording processes, and particularly addressing the underreporting of disability hate crime
- Asking the Law Commission to review the coverage and approach of current hate crime legislation
- Offering improved support for victims in the criminal justice system, including through the Victims’ Strategy and Victims’ Code
- Building understanding of hate crime to ensure that policy can respond flexibly to challenges and concerns by engaging with specific communities, utilising expert groups, and sharing experiences and expertise.