Hate Crime in Wiltshire remains lower than the national picture
Hate Crime Awareness Week raises awareness of those who are targeted because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability, to encourage more people to come forward to report hate crime as a victim or witness.
The hate crime figures released yesterday (Tuesday 13 October) by the Home Office, show that compared to other areas of the country, hate crime in Wiltshire continues to remain low.
A total of 724 hate crimes were reported in Swindon and Wiltshire between April 2019 and March 2020, compared to 676 the previous year (2018/2019). This is a 7.1 per cent increase in overall hate crime in the county which is below the national increase of 8 per cent. This figure however only represents 1.5% of all reported crimes in the whole of Wiltshire and Swindon.
Racial hate crime remains the biggest of all reported hate crimes in Wiltshire and Swindon, rising by 14 from 493 reported crimes to 507 in 2019/2020.
Disability hate crime has seen a rise of 17 reported crimes
2018/2019 = 61
2019/2020 = 78
Transgender identity hate crime has seen a rise of 10 reported crimes
2018/2019 = 27 2019/2020 = 37
Sexual orientation hate crime has seen a rise of 10 reported crimes
2018/2019 = 93 2019/2020 = 103
Religious hate crime has seen a rise of 13 reported crimes
2018/2019 = 26 2019/2020 = 39
Superintendent Dave Minty, Force lead for Hate Crime, said: "We have seen a slight increase in hate crime figures for the county. As a Force we take all reports of hate crime seriously and encourage and actively promote reporting. This increase tells us that more people are having the confidence to come forward.
"Hate crime can be extremely frightening, distressing and isolating for an individual or family and no one should have to suffer like this.
"I want people to feel safe to live in or visit Wiltshire. We will respond robustly to anyone committing these crimes, scrutinise how we investigate hate crime so we can improve the quality of our investigations, and continue to encourage anyone who experiences a hate crime to report it."
Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson said: "No one should feel threatened or unsafe because of who they are, the life they live or the beliefs they hold. Everyone deserves to be able to live their life peacefully and safely without being subject to hate crime.
"More than ever now we need to be a community.
"We need to support each other, recognise and celebrate our individuality and diversity, and as individuals, towns and communities, stand up against those who seek to hurt, discriminate and victimise others by continuing to report hate crime if we see or experience it."