Action plan to tackle hate crime in Chester-le-Street launched

Fracking is due to start at the site today

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The data showed that there were 8,336 religious hate crimes in 2017-18 - up from 5,949 the previous year.

Hate crime is defined as an offence which the victim considers to be driven by hostility towards their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

In total, there were 94,098 hate crimes in 2017/18, 76% of which were recorded as race hate, and 9% of which were religious hate offenses.

There was also a 30 per cent rise in offences against people with disabilities, and a 40 per cent increase in religiously motivated crime.

The new action plan says there has been a "welcome increase" in reporting, reflecting improved identification of hate crime by the police, willingness of victims to come forward and an overall improvement in crime recording.

"It is possible for a hate crime offence to have more than one motivating factor which is why the above numbers sum to more than 94,098 and the proportions to more than 100 per cent", the bulletin specified.

However, other terrorist attacks do fit within the centrally monitored hate crime strands, such as the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, which did appear to be against a specific religion so is included as a hate crime in the report.

AnalysisBy Dominic Casciani, BBC home affairs correspondentToday's figures are the first official national count of the perceived religious target of a hate crime since ministers ordered all police forces to keep a tally.

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Spikes in reports of hate offences have been registered following events such as the Brexit vote in June 2016 and the Westminster terror attack past year.

It will also explore whether crimes motivated by misandry, or prejudice against men, and attacks against the elderly based on ageism should be classed as hate crimes.

However, it noted that there were spikes in hate crime following the Brexit vote in 2016 and terrorist attacks a year ago, such as the Westminster Bridge vehicle attack and stabbing, the Manchester Arena bombing and the London Bridge and Borough Market attack.

"It is completely unacceptable that anyone should live in fear of intimidation and violence because of their beliefs or the colour of their skin".

An updated action plan has been launched in the United Kingdom to tackle hate crime as the country comes together during Hate Crime Awareness Week. "We must challenge prejudice and intolerance, whenever and wherever it appears in our society", United Kingdom communities secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire said.

The anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain said that "comments like Brexiteer Boris Johnson's letterbox comments have fuelled hate crime".

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