Recorded hate crimes across all protected strands are up in 2021/22 across England and Wales, with Muslim and Jewish communities again disproportionately impacted by religiously motivated offences (65 per cent of all recorded offences), the latest Home Office data reveals.

In two-fifths of incidents, Muslims faced 42 per cent (3,459) of all religiously aggravated offences, with Jewish communities experiencing over one-fifth of all such recorded offences as around just 0.5 of the population self-identified as Jewish in the 2011 Census. However, the dataset provides no data from Greater Manchester Police (owing to IT-related issues).

Other faiths targeted included Christians (8 per cent, 701 offences), Other (5 per cent, 403 offences), Sikh (4 per cent, 301 offences), no religion or belief (3 per cent, 209 offences), Hindu (2 per cent, 161 incidents). Police forces who submitted data recorded 36 offences against Buddhists, with an Unknown religion category accounting for 17 per cent (1,426) of related offences.

Consistent with previous datasets, public order offences accounted for 51 per cent of recorded offences. However, worryingly, violent acts accounted for 41 per cent, meaning that almost all recorded forms of hate crime in England and Wales in 2021/22 involved abuse or violence.

Recorded hate crimes in Wales rose by 35 per cent.

For the first time, recorded reports of racist hate crimes topped 100,000 – a profoundly troubling milestone.

The 56 per cent rise in transphobic hate crimes (up from 2,799 to 4,355 incidents) may partly owe to social media, the Home Office briefing acknowledged.

Disability-related hate crimes rose by 43 per cent (rising to 14,242 recorded incidents from 9,945 the previous year).

Anti-LGBT+ hate crime also rose – with a 41 per cent (from 18,596 to 26,152 offences) increase on the previous, resulting in the support service GALOP highlighting the rising need for their services.

Factors in a drop in charges or summons (8 per cent, down from the 12 per cent figure in the previous year), the Home Office made clear, included that an increasing number of recorded crimes are “challenging” and “complex”. For example, the most recorded police outcome with violent offences was “evidential difficulties as the victim does not support action”.

Responding to the rise in recorded hate crimes, our Director, Iman Atta OBE, said: “At Tell MAMA, we recorded a noticeable rise in household-related harassment, violence and abuse motivated by anti-Muslim hate and racism as we emerged from various lockdowns in 2020. This worrying trend continued throughout 2021. The latest Home Office data confirms and validates our findings about how religiously-motivated offences targeted Muslims in 42% of cases.

“We have long warned about rising levels of violence in public spaces or on public transport, the targeting of places of worship (we logged 41 incidents against mosques in 2021, up from 22 reports in 2020), and the danger of far-right rhetoric gaining mainstream traction online. No place of worship should ever be fearful of vandalism or violence; people should be free to walk our streets in religious clothing without harassment or violence. However, trigger events abroad or changing political climates embolden some to target minorities in our society – it falls on civil society, the media and politicians to temper their rhetoric and ensure dialogue, mutuality, and accuracy overcome division.”

Responding to the figures, Professor Neil Chakrabarti, who specialises in Criminology at the University of Leicester, said, “Trigger events, hostile politics & economic conditions all matter”.

The Home Office briefing added: “It also thought that growing awareness of hate crime is likely to have led to improved identification of such offences. It is difficult to assess whether the increase in the last year is a continuation of this trend, or whether the rise in hate crime is, in at least part, genuine”. Adding, in the absence of the Crime Survey for England and Wales that “estimates means it is harder to determine with increased in police recorded hate crime are genuine, or a continuation of recording improvements”.

But such qualifiers are not new. Previous Home Office briefings have used similar language whilst acknowledging “genuine” rises in hate crime (notably following the EU referendum result). For example, see statements found in the 2018/19 briefing.

We remind the public and communities to use our safety advice – available in the Resources section of our website.