Cases of hate crime 'show fall'

The number of hate crimes recorded by police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has fallen.

Last year there were 48,127 offences motivated by prejudice against race, religion, sexuality or because the victim was disabled or transgender.

This is down from 51,920 in 2009, according to figures collected for the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Crimes against disabled or transgender victims did rise. Police say these areas were under-reported in the past.

Chief Constable Stephen Otter, Acpo lead on equality, diversity and human rights, said: "Hate crimes cause a great deal of fear among victims and communities.

"We are determined to reduce the harm caused by hate crime and as a service we have listened to victims' groups who have told us that by publishing this data, confidence in the police and the wider criminal justice system would be improved."

He urged anyone who was a victim of hate crime to report it to local police or online at Acpo's True Vision website.

"One of the greatest challenges is to reduce the under-reporting of hate crime," said Iqbal Bhana, deputy chair of the government's Hate Crime Advisory Group.

"It is good to see progress but there is still a long way to go before we can be satisfied that hate crime victims are properly protected."

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