Recorded religious hate crime rose 9 per cent in 2022/23 across England and Wales, with Muslim and Jewish communities experiencing 56 per cent of offences, the latest Home Office figures reveal.
The data reveals 3,452 recorded offences towards Muslim communities (39 per cent), representing two-fifths of the 9,387 offences logged by police forces (excluding Devon and Cornwall).
Notably, the 3,452 recorded offences against Muslims between March 2022 and 2023 are above the 2017/18 figure of 2,965 offences and the 2019/20 figure of 3,089 offences – a rise of 16.42 per cent and 11.75 per cent, respectively.
The 2018/19 recorded figures of 3,530 offences (47 per cent) is slightly above the most recent data.
Other faith and non-faith groups targeted included Christians (7 per cent, 649 offences), Other (10 per cent, 875 offences), Sikh (3 per cent, 308 offences), no religion or belief (4 per cent, 369 offences), Hindu (3 per cent, 291 incidents). In just over a fifth of cases, police forces recorded ‘Unknown’ (1,924).
Jewish communities faced more than a sixth of religious hate crimes despite accounting for 0.5 per cent of faith communities in England and Wales.
Sikh communities also recently launched a campaign to raise awareness of the Sikh faith and encourage the reporting of racist hate crimes.
The Home Office data also revealed an 11 per cent rise in transphobic hate crimes as racist hate crimes accounted for 70 per cent of all hate crime offences (101,906 offences).
Sexual orientation hate crimes fell by 6%, to 24,102 offences, as disability hate crimes fell slightly (by 1%) compared with the previous year, with 13,777 recorded offences.
The Home Office briefing also revealed a 5 per cent drop in reports, citing improvements in policing that “were thought to have been driven by improvements in crime recording by the police and better identification of what constitutes a hate crime.”
Responding to the 9 per cent rise in religious hate crimes, Tell MAMA Director Iman Atta OBE said: “The 9% rise in religious hate crimes in England and Wales reflects many concerns we’ve long raised: the targeting of Muslim communities (who faced 3,452 offences, or 39% in total), especially during lockdowns, and in the post-lockdown years, how those with underlying racial and religious biases felt emboldened to target violently or acting in a harassing manner in public spaces or on transport.
✍️ Statement from Tell MAMA's Director Iman Atta following the release of the latest hate crime data for England and Wales that showed a 9% rise in religious hate crime. Two in five (39%) religious hate crime offences targeted Muslims (3,452 offences).#No2h8 #hatecrime pic.twitter.com/PRfSGfL775
— Tell MAMA UK (@TellMamaUK) October 6, 2023
Of equal concern is how almost one in 10 religious hate crimes involved criminal damage or arson. We did a hate crime survey with ITV News earlier this year which revealed that of the 117 mosques surveyed, almost 90% experienced anti-Muslim hate crimes in the previous 12 months. No place of worship or community space should ever fear vandalism, arson or violence towards worshippers, which is why we continue to help those with applications for security funding.
Our ten-year report ‘A Decade of anti-Muslim Hate’ reveals a sharp rise in discrimination cases, especially in workplaces, demonstrating that conversations about hate crime should not overshadow structural problems and interpersonal biases that harm the careers and employment prospects of Muslims.”