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UK: Hate crimes rise by 10% in past year

The number of hate crimes in England and Wales rose 10% in the past year to a record 103,379, the Home Office said Tuesday in an annual report. Hate crimes are defined as being motivated by aggravation with respect to someone's race, gender, sexuality, disability or religion. By far, the most prevalent hate crimes were in relation to race, which accounted for more than 75% of the total.

The Home Office said the rise in the figures could be partly attributed to better reporting to the police. 

Nearly half or 47% of all religious hate crimes were perpetrated against Muslims, totaling more than 3,500 offenses – a similar proportion to last year. In contrast, 18% of religious hate crimes were committed against Jews. 

There were spikes in hate crime after the 2016 Brexit referendum as well as more recently in March 2019 after the New Zealand mosque massacre. This follows a worrying trend of an increase in hate crimes against Muslims in the immediate aftermath of a global terror incident. 

As this is National Hate Crime Awareness Week in the U.K., London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that an additional £500,000 would be allocated for combating hate crimes in the city. 

As many commentators have said, these figures show just the tip of the iceberg, and such increases in funding may be a feature of future policy announcements.

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