Asian hate crime up 60% compared to pre-Covid

Suffolk Constabulary have dealt with thousands of hate crime offences this year. Picture: ARCHANT

Recorded Asian hate crime has increased in Suffolk over the period of the pandemic. - Credit: Archant

Hate crime directed at those of Asian heritage in Suffolk has been rising over recent years - having a devastating impact on the community.

Last year there were 16 reports of racialised hate crime in the county where the victim is or is perceived to be a person of East or Southeast Asian heritage, this compares to 10 the previous year and six in 2018 - which included reports of harassment and car damage. 

Most of the crimes reported in 2020 were recorded as racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress, and sending malicious communication to cause distress or anxiety, with three incidents made up of assault and criminal damage. 

There were four reports of Asian hate crime harassment between January and April this year.

Suffolk chief inspector Andy Martin said: “Suffolk Constabulary takes every report of hate crime incredibly seriously. It is completely unacceptable and can have a lasting, and devastating, impact on victims and communities.

“We have proactively sought to increase the awareness of such crimes over recent years, and continue to encourage victims to come forward.

"Along with our partners we work together to raise awareness of what hate crime is and encourage reporting, in order to provide the best possible response we can to deal with offenders accordingly.

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"This has led to an increase in recording, which we welcome.

"However, we know that there are still victims who are hesitant for a number of reasons. We ask them to seek further advice on our website, or encourage them to contact Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care, which provides a free and confidential support service to help victims and witnesses of all types of crime, including hate crime.”

Hate crime is when a criminal offence is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s actual or perceived race, religion or belief, physical or sensory disability, learning disability or mental health, age, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Victims can contact Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care on 0300 303 3706. Crimes do not have to be reported to access this free and confidential service.

Hate crime can be reported to police by calling 101, or on 999 if a crime is in progress.

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