Police forces solve fewer cases of hate crime despite the number having doubled

ITV News North of England Reporter Hannah Miller investigates why despite the number of hate crime cases rising, police forces solve fewer cases

Police forces across England and Wales have been accused of failing victims after exclusive figures showed they solved fewer cases of hate crime in 2020 than five years ago. Reports by hate crime has more than doubled in the same period.

A study by ITV News and Liberty investigates found that the number of hate crime Cases in which officers identified a suspect and acted against them dropped from 14,866 in 2015 to 14,398 in 2020 – despite the number of reports rising to more than 100,000.

The requests for freedom of information looked at how many cases ended in a decisive result, such as a precaution, indictment, summons, sentencing or community resolution.

Source: Liberty Investigates

It reveals that only 14% of cases resulted in that kind of solution in 2020, half of 28% seen five years earlier.

Lee and his partner were beaten and stabbed in a homophobic attack during a night out in Birmingham.

West Midlands Police say they conducted “an extensive CCTV trawl and followed several lines of investigation”, but Lee believes they missed the opportunity to find the perpetrators by waiting six days to start inquiries. The three perpetrators have not yet been identified.

11-year-old Ocean and her 17-year-old sister Kasmira are feeling nervous about leaving the house after they were subjected to a violent racist assault in a park in Bristol earlier this year.

Ocean, who has an English mother and an Indian father, remembers being asked where she was from and was told to go back to her own country by a group of girls who continued to kick her in the neck.

This video contains disturbing images

Kasmira was then beaten as she tried to help her sister. Both girls had to be hospitalized as a result of the attack.

The family is still waiting for a result, during which time they are worried about whether it can happen again. The case has been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, but mother Taylor Williams says at times she is considering withdrawing from the process due to the time it has taken and a “lack of support”.

They have since been referred by police to a local hate crime and Lighthouse Safeguarding Unit for ongoing support.

Avon and Somerset Police say all reported hate crimes will be investigated and they urge victims to report incidents as soon as possible.

The data also show that tens of thousands of people who reported hate crime last year abandoned the subsequent police investigation.

Last year, 33,546 people who reported a hate crime then pulled out of the procedure — a tripling of 11,075 in 2015. That places the bounce rate of 32% by 2020 — significantly higher than the average withdrawal rate for other forms of crime, which is 25 percent.

Superintendent Dennis Murray, who won the Queen’s Police Medal for his work on diversity and community with Northamptonshire Police, says forces must respond to the findings. He suggests that the lack of trust between the police and the communities most affected by hate crime may explain the high dropout rate.

Dame Vera Baird QC, the victims’ commissioner for England and Wales, described the figures as “shocking”.

“The police are clearly not reacting so much to this,” Dame Vera told ITV News. “If people are trusted to go to the police, just to stay lying next to the road, there can be no clearer failure.”

There is no national standard for how forces should tackle hate crime, and the government’s four-year hate crime action plan expired in May 2020. A new strategy is expected before the end of the year.

The Interior Ministry rejected ITV News’ request for an interview and issued a statement instead.

It said: “Hate crime is completely unacceptable and people who commit these crimes should rightly face the full force of the law.

“The government is committed to fighting hate crime, and our hate crime action plan has helped improve police response to and public awareness of all forms of hate crime.

“Our approach works, as the UK and Wales crime survey shows a long-term decline in hate crime. Increases in police-registered hate crime are driven by improvements in criminal record and a better indication of what constitutes a hate crime.”

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