More than 75% of hate crime in the UK is not reported to the authorities, a new research has revealed.
The research funded by the Ministry of Justice, was commissioned by the Suffolk Hate Crime Partnership. It was carried out by the Applied Criminology Centre at the University of Huddersfield in tandem with the Hallam Centre for Community Justice at Sheffield Hallam University.
“The aims were to try and get a better understanding of the provenance of hate crime in Suffolk and also to find out how to best support victims,” said University of Huddersfield criminology researcher Kris Christmann who took part in the project.
The researchers interviewed people and groups who were vulnerable to hate crime. They also conducted a survey which indicated that in Suffolk, the non-reporting of hate crime – offences relating to race, faith, sexual orientation, gender and disability – ranged from 54 per cent for serious incidents to 89 per cent for less serious incidents.
Mr. Christmann said that the researchers, after a process of data analysis using a combination of police crime data and data from victimisation surveys, which included the British Crime Survey, arrived at an estimate that hate crime in Suffolk was under-reported by an average of 74 per cent. Nationwide, the figure might be higher, because Suffolk, with its Hate Crime Partnership, was probably performing better than average.
The main reasons for non-reporting, according to the project’s report, included perceptions that an incident was too trivial, would not be taken seriously by the police, or not dealt with effectively. Sometimes incidents were so common that they became “normalised”.
There was also a fear of reprisal and in the case of Gypsy Travellers, it was often their families who talked victims out of reporting a hate crime to the police.