Reports of hate crime incidents up in Dudley
Reports of hate crime in Dudley rose by nearly 25 per cent in one year – with librarians among those on the receiving end of abuse.
A total of 342 incidents of hate crime were recorded across 12 months from 2018 to 2019, a rise of 24 per cent from the previous year.
Incidents ranged from racist abuse to physical assaults, damage to property and verbal and online harassment.
Many victims were subjected to abuse through their jobs including librarians, police officers, security guards, door staff, taxi drivers, bus drivers, support workers, environmental protection officers, shop staff and bar staff.
In a report to councillors sitting on Dudley Council's overview and scrutiny management board, local authority officers say the rise can in part be attributed to more people coming forward to report offences.
Mark Rogers, the director of housing for Dudley Council, said in the report: "342 hate crimes were recorded in Dudley in 2018/2019. This was a 24 per cent increase on 2017/2018.
"However it is acknowledged that this increase could be in part due to the work taking place to raise awareness of what constitutes hate crime and reporting routes, such as our third party reporting centres.
"Overwhelmingly name-calling stands out as the predominant cause of recorded racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment alarm or distress. Which tend to be triggered by an incident such as road, traffic or parking/parking space related incidents. Offences directed at victims through their occupation are also high.
"A number of offences took place as a result of the offender being identified and challenged for inappropriate behaviour such as re-entering a premises from where they had already been banned, prevented from stealing, recognised from a previous offence, or whilst under arrest."
He added that incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, offensive graffiti or letters, text messages, emails and comments over social media.
The report will be discussed at Dudley Council's overview and scrutiny management board meeting tomorrow.
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