No suspect identified in nearly half of hate crime investigations

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

No suspects were identified in almost half of investigations into race and religious hate cases, new figures show.

In the 12 months to September 2018, 46 per cent of such offences recorded by Greater Manchester Police were shut with no suspect in the frame, while West Midlands Police closed 44 per cent.



The figures have been criticised by victims charities who say they could discourge discourage victims to come forward. 

Victim Support chief officer Diana Fawcett said: "The fact that such a large number of these cases are being closed with no suspect identified threatens to further undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system when it comes to reporting racially and religiously motivated hate crime.”


'Scarce evidence'

The Home Office data also shows that the total number of racially and religiously-aggravated offences recorded by the police has reached a new high.

Police recorded 57,652 in the year to September 2018 across England and Wales, the largest number for any 12-month period since records began in April 2012.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for hate crime Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said in many cases there are no witnesses and “scarce evidence”, making suspect identification difficult.

He added: "The police service has no tolerance for this type of abuse but we need to be made aware that crimes are taking place so that we can investigate - or better still, prevent them from happening."

The figures comes after Sajid Javid appealed to the UK to “stand together” after a series of suspected hate crime incidents in London, Rochdale, Surrey and Oxford over the past weekend.