CRIME

Oxford hate crime incidents increase for another year- VB BLOG


#Oxford #hate #crime #incidents #increase #year

Hate crimes and incidents in Oxford have increased year-on-year for the last three years, with a near seven per cent rise in reported incidents from last year.

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A hate crime is defined as ‘any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.’

The latest 12-month rolling data released by Thames Valley Police, it shows that between September 2021 To August 2022 there were 738 reported hate crime incidents in the city.

This number was up by 47 on the same period the previous year (691) and up 206 on the year before that (532).

Within these numbers, the largest rise was seen in Transphobic Incidents – Non Crime Occurrence where there was a 133 per cent increase – up to 14 incidents in 2022/23 from 6 in 2021/22.

This was in-line with a 86 per cent increase in Transphobic Incidents – Recorded Crime which rose from 7 in 2020/21 to 15 in 2021/22 and then 28 in 2022/23.

Alongside this, there was also a large increase in Religious Incidents- Recorded Crime which saw a 42 per cent uptick from 16 in 2020/21 to 19 in 2021/22 and then 27 in 2022/23.

Councillor Shaista Aziz, cabinet member for inclusive communities and culture at Oxford City Council, said she was “saddened and disturbed” at the latest data.

The Labour councillor said: “The fact that there has been a year on year increase in recorded hate crime is horrifying.

“There is a pattern that is emerging and it is very scary and needs to be further examined, in terms of age group, geographic location etcetera. To see if there is any further work that can take place to ensure the people impacted by these crimes are given the help and support they need, and to find out why it is happening.”

She explained Oxford City Council is working to create an inclusive environment in the city, with one recent example that the council passed a trans inclusive motion.

“It is very evident and very clear that there is a narrative around trans people that has become very dominant in political circles over the last few years. That is not giving trans people confidence about living their lives safely in a way that won’t make them targets of hate, bigotry and abuse.

“I think is very alarming.”  

Councillor Shaista Aziz

Debbie Brixey, chair of Oxford Pride, said: “Oxford Pride is saddened to see that there continues to be a raise in homophobic crimes and an even sharper increase in transphobic crimes in Oxford.

“We continue to attend the Independent Advisory Group for the local police and to liaise with their LAGLOs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Liaison Officers) wherever possible. We would urge anyone who is a victim of any of these crimes to report this to the police if possible.”

Oxford Mail: Oxford Pride chair Debbie BrixeyOxford Pride chair Debbie Brixey

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said: “Thames Valley Police has seen an increase in reports of hate crimes and incidents.

“We believe that this shows a growing confidence in Thames Valley Police to listen, investigate and respond to reports, and also shows an increasing recognition from the public that these offences are not acceptable, and that they should be reported.

“The Thames Valley is a very diverse place which is home to people from a variety of different backgrounds.

“Tackling hate crime is a local priority for officers, and we actively work and engage with all our communities to ensure their safety.

“Hate crimes and incidents are never acceptable; they have serious impacts on individuals, families and communities.

“Thames Valley Police encourages anyone who experiences hate incidents to report them so we can investigate and bring offenders to justice.

“Further information on hate crime, the support available and how to report incidents is available on our website here: thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/hco/hate-crime/what-is-hate-crime/”

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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