PCC concerned hate crime offences are significantly under-reported.
Wiltshire’s PCC has said he is concerned that hate crime offences are significantly under-reported despite a rise in 4% of hate crime reports in the county.
Hate crime in Wiltshire has increased by nearly 4% overall according to statistics released by the Home Office, this is in comparison with the 9% increase in offences recorded nationally.
A total of 753 hate crimes were reported in Wiltshire between April 2020 and March 2021, compared to 724 the previous year (2019/2020).
Racial hate crime remains the biggest of all reported hate crimes in Wiltshire and Swindon, rising by 26 from 507 reported crimes to 533 in 2020/2021, an increase of 5%.
Sexual orientation hate crime has seen a rise of 16 reported crimes:
2019/2020 = 103
2020/2021 = 119
Disability hate crime has seen a rise of 8 reported crimes:
2019/2020 = 78
2020/2021 = 86
Transgender identity hate crime has seen a drop of 16 reported crimes:
2019/2020 = 37
2020/2021 = 21
Religious hate crime has seen a drop of 15 reported crimes:
2019/2020 = 39
2020/2021 = 24
Wiltshire PCC Philip Wilkinson said: “Events over the past 18 months have rightly raised the profile and awareness of racial abuse as a crime.
“Any targeting of an individual because of their perceived differences is abhorrent but it is happening here in Wiltshire, in our towns, in our communities, to our neighbours, our friends, and our colleagues.
“That said, I’m concerned that these statistics don’t reflect the true picture of hate crime and suspect that it continues to be significantly under-reported, particularly when you compare the local picture to the national increase.
“All victims of crime must have confidence in the police to take their reports seriously and I very much consider it my role to bridge the widening gap between the public and the police, which is why the results of my wide-ranging public consultation which launches next week will set the tone of policing in Wiltshire for the future.”