By Christie Brewington
Hate crime in Kent has fallen by nearly 10 per cent in a year, new figures show.
Police data shows an 8.2 per cent drop in hate crime between 2013/14 and 2014/15 – with 133 fewer reports.
Last Tuesday, the Home Office released their annual figures for hate crime reports throughout England and Wales. It saw an 18 per cent increase altogether however Kent is one county that saw a fall in percentage.
A Kent Police spokesman said: “In 2014/15, there was an 8.2 per cent decrease in the number of reports of hate crime received by the force compared to the previous year – this equates to 133 less reports than in 2013/14.”
The figures throughout the country have risen from 44,471 to 52, 528 with 80 per cent of reports being race related. Anti hate campaign group, Tell MAMA, say the recent refugee crisis may be one of the issues causing more hate crime.
Director of Tell MAMA, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, said: “Part of the issues have included the refugee crisis which is fuelling racially and religiously aggravated hate incidents and crimes.”
It has, however, been argued these numbers may not be down to an increase of crime. A criminology expert and Canterbury Christ Church University lecturer, Rashid Aziz, believes these figures may not mean a rise of actual crime.
He said: “There are many reasons why recorded hate crime might have gone up in the UK. One reason might be that reporting and recording has improved.
“Victims may have increased confidence in reporting such crimes to the police. The statistics do not necessarily mean that there is more hate crime happening, but that we have had a bigger percentage of victims come forward.”
Police stations in Kent
Watch our reporter, Christie Brewington, speak about what area has seen a large growth of hate crime.
The Kent Police department is currently supporting the National Hate Crime Awareness Week that ends tomorrow.