Hate crime cases have fallen, say police
THE number of hate crimes being reported to Avon and Somerset police has fallen, new figures show.
Recorded crime against people because of their race, faith and sexual orientation all fell in 2011.
Transgender-related crime was also down – but there was a 36 per cent rise in the number of people targeted because they are disabled, from 72 in 2010 to 98 last year, reflecting a rise nationally in crime against disabled people.
Hate crimes are motivated by "hostility based on a person's race, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability or where the victim was perceived to be transgender", said the Association of Police Officers which compiled the figures.
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A total of 1,523 were recorded in 2010, down from 1,671 the previous year. There was also an overall fall nationally, from 48,127 to 44,519.
Meanwhile, separate figures, recorded by the Home Office, also showed a reduction in the number of reported 'racist incidents' in the Avon and Somerset area. These are measured differently to hate crimes, and classed as any incident where the motivation is perceived to be based on somebody's race. In Avon and Somerset last year police recorded 1,565 last year, down from 1,894.
Avon and Somerset Police Chief Inspector Norman Pascal said: "There is no excuse for hate crime. We will not tolerate it in any shape or form. We're very encouraged to see the level of reporting for Avon and Somerset is higher than many other forces. Under-reporting of hate crime is an issue across the country. The national Crime Survey of England and Wales shows fewer than 20% of hate crimes are reported to police."