Police action over hate crime claims plummets

Lancashire Police Hate crime officer PC Stuart Rutlidge and police link worker Farhet Quraishi
Lancashire Police Hate crime officer PC Stuart Rutlidge and police link worker Farhet Quraishi

The chances of police taking action against hate crime offenders in Lancashire have plummeted over the last year, new figures show.

Lancashire Police has the second worse performance in the country on the issue – where people are targeted because of aspects of their identity, such as sexual orientation, religion and disability.

If anyone has been the victim of hate crime or they have seen it happen to someone else, call the police on 101

Action by the force fell by a third, despite the number of reports rising slightly.

In 2015/16, action was taken on 413 of 2,072 reported hate crimes – or one in five cases. In 2014/15, action was taken 617 times in relation to 1,936 reports - or 32 per cent.

The force vowed to increase officer training, but declined to explain why there had been an increase in reports or a drop in action.

Rose Simkins, chief executive of Stop Hate UK said: “A regular response from a victim of hate crime is ‘what’s the point in reporting when nothing gets done?’.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “The only way we can stamp out this sort of behaviour is if we know about it – and we need the public’s help to achieve this.

“Hate incidents and crimes of any kind are not acceptable, and instances of it need to end. There is no place for hate in Lancashire.”

They added: “We are aware that there has been a reduction in our charge and summons rates over the last 12 months and we have looked to increase this with joint training with the Crown Prosecution Service and awareness with officers.

“If anyone has been the victim of hate crime or they have seen it happen to someone else, call the police on 101. Alternatively, True Vision has a confidential online reporting facility.”

New research does however suggest that when action is taken and the matter goes to court, victims of hate crime in Lancashire are likely to see more success.

In the past year, 88.7 per cent of prosecutions where the perpetrator is motivated by race, sexuality, age, or disability, resulted in convictions. Anyone with concerns is as ked to visit: www.lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/personal-safety/hate-crime.aspx

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