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Race and religious hate offences have more than doubled in under a decade

RACE and religious hate offences have more than doubled in under a decade, reaching a new record high last year — driven in part by anger at England’s Euro defeat. 

A total of 76,884 offences were recorded in 2021 — a jump of 15 per cent from 66,742 in 2020, according to police figures released today. 

This is also more than two-and-a-half times the 30,794 recorded in 2013 when comparable data began. 

The figures show that 39 out of the 44 forces in England and Wales reported a rise in these types of offences. 

Police suggested that the easing of coronavirus restrictions as well as improvements in reporting racially and religiously aggravated crimes were also factors behind the rise. 

A stark jump in reported offences was recorded in the period July to September — coinciding with the end of the Euro football championships, which saw England lose the final in a penalty shoot-out. 

The defeat sparked a wave of racist abuse on social media against England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, all of whom missed penalties.

Police made a number of arrests in connection with abusive posts against the three. 

Victim Support chief executive Diana Fawcett said that the figures reflected what the charity has been seeing in recent years — spikes in hate crimes being linked to world events. 

“This trend is seriously concerning — no person or community should be targeted because of who they are,” she said. 

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said all forms of hate crime were “completely unacceptable – police will take, and do take, all reports seriously and we will do everything we can to investigate.”

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