Updated: Thursday, 23rd November 2017 @ 12:04pm

'Distress call for minorities': More than 75% Manchester hate crime offenders escape

'Distress call for minorities': More than 75% Manchester hate crime offenders escape

| By Samar Maguire

The Greater Manchester Police's success rate in identifying and charging hate crime offenders has decreased dramatically, according to an FOI released by the GMP.

The total success rate in identifying and charging 'sexual orientation' offenders decreased from 40% to 19% this year.

Islamophobia cases have increased by 21% and the success rate has decreased from 30% to 24%.

Anti-Semitic crimes have quelled slightly after decreasing in number but the percentage still remains at 15%.

Jessica White, community safety co-ordinator for the LGBT foundation, claims that although the report suggests that offenders might not be prosecuted, victims should still come forward to access support.

She said: "This serves as a stark reminder as to why it is so important that we continue to strive to encourage victims of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes to report their victimisation.

"Hate crimes of all types tend to be very underreported, so we worry that the drop in reported hate crimes may indicate that people remain afraid to come forward if they are the victim of a hate crime.

"Although the drop in positive outcome data is disappointing, we would still encourage victims of hate crime to come forward.

"Coming forward allows you to access support, even if an offender is not charged with the crime. It also means that the scale of the problem is acknowledged, and policing can be appropriately targeted. 

"You can report hate crimes at LGBT Foundation by phoning 03453303030, or online at lgbt.foundation/report."

According to the statistics, 'sexual orientation' hate crimes reduced from 411 to 341 this year. But there is more of this form of hate crime than any other in Greater Manchester.

In 2013-14, anti-Semitism fluctuated as it grew by 81%, but it has reduced by 13%. Out of 130 crimes this year however, only 19 have been 'solved'.

Islamaphobia is on the rise, as the total number of crimes increased from 151 to 183 – but only 44 saw a positive outcome.

Afzal Khan MEP believes that government cuts are partly to blame for a decreased success rate in identifying and charging hate crime offenders.

He said: "This report serves as a distress call for all our minorities who are feeling ever more targeted by racism and xenophobic thuggery yet left with little recourse to help or security.

"Government cuts are partly to blame as depleted resources mean our police forces are unable to tackle hate crime effectively enough.

"Anti-semitism, Islamophobia or any form of discrimination cannot be left unaccounted for because doing so would only play into the hands of those seeking to sow division and discord."

GMP told MM that while the figures for hate crime are shocking, they are continually working to improve conviction rates and remind us that some of these cases are still under investigation.

They said: “Hate crime remains a top priority for GMP and we are continually working to improve how it is reported, investigated and monitored.

"It is important to remember that a number of the hate crimes shown in the data are still under investigation and so an outcome will not yet be known. 

“Our work includes raising awareness of the issues and encouraging people to report all forms of hate crimes so that we can have a better understanding of the problem and also continue to improve the way we tackle it.

"We recently developed an aide memoire on hate crime to assist officers, and are developing training which also focuses on the importance of data quality. 

“If you have been a victim of hate crime, or know someone else who has, you should report it either on 101 or through the online facility www.report-it.org.uk” 

Image courtesy of bark, with thanks.