South Yorkshire sees dramatic rise in racially aggravated crimes

Racially aggravated crimes have increased substantially over the last five years, an FOI conducted by JUS News to the South Yorkshire police has revealed.

Crimes that have risen dramatically in the county include racially aggravated assault, criminal damage and harassment.

Racially or religiously aggravated assault incidents more than doubled between 2019 and 2015 and increased by more than 20% between 2019 and 2018.

Meanwhile, cases involving racial or religiously aggravated public fear, alarm or distress increased from 156 in 2015 to 382 in 2019.

Criminal damage cases almost tripled and harassment cases increased by more than six fold in the same time period.

Amongst perceived religious groups, members of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish community all experienced a rise in racist attacks in the past five years.

Religiously aggravated crime against the Muslim community saw the steepest increase, increasing ten fold between 2016 and 2019.

These figures reflect reported incidents in which an individual has been accused of breaking the law. They do not include hate incidents which are characterised as cases where the law has not been broken, despite a prejudicial act of hate allegedly having taken place.

In February 2020, South Yorkshire police released the ‘Hate Hurts’ report to detail their campaign to reduce the number of hate crimes in South Yorkshire.

The report stated: “Working with our partners and communities, we will seek to prevent hate crime, to increase trust and confidence of communities that fear they may be targeted by such crime and to identify and prosecute those that commit such crimes.”