'Better recording' behind region's soaring hate crime figures, say police

Police chiefs say the reason the West Midlands force recorded the second highest number of racially and religiously aggravated offences in the country is because of better recording of such incidents.

It was revealed earlier this week how the force recorded 5,115 hate crime offences in 2020, up 23 per cent from 4,145 in 2019; and 40 per cent of these offences were assigned the outcome “investigation complete – no suspect identified”.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said: “We have seen an increase in incidents of hate crime especially during the pandemic and, as the second largest force in the country, our figures will be higher than smaller forces. We are also recording offences better in accordance with the Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime.”

“Unfortunately hate crimes are rarely captured on CCTV with audio or even on officers’ body-worn video, making them difficult to prosecute. However, that said, the victim often knows the offender and consideration for out of court settlements, such as a community resolution, is sometimes a preferred solution where the victim and the offender both agree to the outcome.

“Sometimes a victim doesn’t want to pursue a prosecution, they just want the incident recorded.

“However, our position remains clear - we do not tolerate any type of hate crime against our diverse and multi-cultural communities across the West Midlands.

“Every report is taken seriously because such behaviour is unacceptable and can have a significant impact on victims, their families, friends and communities.”

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