Hate Crime in the UK

What is a Hate Crime?

A hate crime is a criminal offence that is targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s perceived race or ethnicity, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. Any one of us can be targeted, at any time.

A victim does not have to belong to the perceived group i.e. A heterosexual male could be a victim of a homophobic hate crime despite identifying as straight. For example, he leaves an LGBT venue with friends or family members and his attacker calls out homophobic remarks during the attack. Irrespective of how the victim of the attack identifies, if taken to court, a judge could apply a stronger sentence for the attacker compared to a general assault because of the prejudice factor.

Hate crime offences, by strand, for 2015-2016

The chart opposite displays the number of hate crimes reported, by strand, in the UK (2015-2016). Below these figures are highlighted as specific percentages:

79% – Racial hatred (49,419)

12% – Sexual orientation hatred (7,194)

7% – Religious hatred (4,400)

6% – Disability hatred (3,629)

1% – Transgender hatred (858)

Note: the above figures exceed 100% / the overall total because victims may have been attacked based on more than one prejudice; i.e. both their perceived sexuality and disability, for example.

Figures taken from

  • Racial hate
  • Sexual orientation hate
  • Religious hate
  • Disability hate
  • Transgender hate

The UK Government’s 2016-2017 hate crime statistics are now available

For the latest official statistics, broken down into specific demographics, visit the UK government’s website by clicking here. Download & open the relevant document of interest as applicable.