Hate crimes are rising - but how hate is spreading is changing

  • Video report by ITV News Video Producer Natalia Jorquera

Hate in this country is growing.

Last year, there were over 100,000 recorded hate crimes in England and Wales - incidents have more than doubled since 2013, but how hate is spreading is changing.

According to the Home Office, the majority of hate crimes reported to police are in connection to someone’s race.

But cases of hate crime relating to an individual’s sexual orientation or religion have risen in the last year.

Jewish charity The Community Safety Trust reported an 82% rise in online hate crimes in the last year.

Miriam Mirwitch, of Young Labour UK, has been targeted by anti-Semitic abuse. Credit: ITV News

National Chair of Young Labour UK Miriam Mirwitch has received anti-semitic abuse, including insults to pictures of dead children.

Ms Mirwitch told ITV News she was heartbroken over the public response: "Anti-Semitism has become quite normalised in public life and on social media.

"There is so much of it now that I think for a lot of people through a lack of education and also through genuine hatred don't realise that these things are unacceptable and when it's so normalised and when it's on front pages - publications like that, people think that it's OK for them to act in that sort of way, too."

Hate crimes against Muslims and Jewish people top the Home Office list as the two most targeted religious groups.

Some 1,326 offences against Jewish people were recorded by police during 2018/19 while 3,530 offences were recorded against Muslims.

The East London mosque of Imam Shams was subjected to an attack. Credit: ITV News

Imam Shams' local mosque in East London was subject to an attack hours after the Christchurch shootings in New Zealand last March.

It was reported that a 27-year-old man was struck with a hammer or other blunt object and shouted at with Islamophobic abuse.

Nobody was arrested at the time but the Imam believes the community is still shaken.

He said: "Suddenly your mindset changes, how do I keep myself safe? How do I keep my children safe? And increasingly with these types of incidents it will become the norm."

A martial arts club has seen an uptick in members. Credit: ITV News

While political events have triggered more Islamophobic attacks, the biggest rise in hate crimes comes from the LGBT+ community with a 261% increase in police reports since 2011/12.

LGBT+ martial arts instructor Julian Bremner has noticed the need for a supportive community over the 25 years he has been running the club The Ishigaki Ju-Jitsu Club.

Mr Bremner told ITV News: "I think that it's had a direct impact on people signing up and coming on to our classes."

Hope Not Hate has been working to tackle hate crimes. Credit: ITV News

The latest report by political action group Hope Not Hate says the way far-right groups are spreading hate has now changed.

Hope Not Hate told ITV News: "At Hope not Hate we’re seeing far right groups organising less in the traditional ways –with membership lists and street protests and more as online communities where people come together with their computer screens and all the interaction they might have could be online."

Social media giant Facebook say they have built a team of 35,000 safety and security experts to detect posts linked to hate.

A Government spokesperson said: “Our Online Harms White Paper sets out plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online and on 12 February we announced proposals for Ofcom to be the online harms regulator.”