REVEALED: Only a quarter of emergency hate crime call-outs end up in court
Only a quarter of emergency police call-outs to hate crime incidents resulted in a person being charged or summoned to court, new figures have revealed.
And it is not clear how many of the charges were directly linked to the hate crime offence reported.
West Midlands Police received 999 calls reporting hate crime incidents in the Black Country on 324 occasions last year, categorising 94 of them for immediate response.
Yet in almost a fifth of the cases – 20 – the victim did not show or withdrew support for police action.
Only in 23 of the emergency call-outs was someone arrested or given court summons.
Hate crime is defined as racial, religious, orientation or sexual abuse motivated by hostility and prejudice.
It can include a victim being abused over their identity including their taste in clothing or music.
The figures, obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, show the seriousness the force takes in hate crime in prioritising calls over hate crime.
Until 14 months ago, the force’s Hate Crime Policy said every hate crime incident should be graded for an immediate response, unless on agreement with the victim.
Today, calls are graded on a case by case basis.
West Midlands Police force contact manager, Superintendent Matt Markham said: “In November 2016 we introduced a new system that grades calls on a scale from 1-9 depending on the urgency of the police response, with 1 being an immediate response to a serious incident or where a crime is in progress.
“This new structure gives us a broader range of options and allows us to better tailor the response relative to the nature of the call.
“In cases where an offender is still present, or the offence is being committed at the time, in most cases it would be graded Category 1 as a swift response could result in a suspect being arrested at the scene, in addition to the victim being safeguarded. “
The figures showed, out of the 324 reported hate crime incidents in the Black Country, 100 were in Walsall, 99 in Sandwell, 75 in Wolverhampton and 50 in Dudley.
Despite 94 of the total being graded for immediate response, leaders at the Baitul Atta Mosque, based in Willenhall Road in Wolverhampton, said the force could still do more.
Three years ago the mosque was targeted when stones were thrown at the building windows.
Toby Ephram, regional president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Society, said: “The police work hard to stop hate crime, but I believe officers could do more gaining trust from communities like ours to tackle the problem, come knock on our door speak to our members.
“Because at the moment it feels like they are just ticking boxes.”