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Race-related hate crimes growing at alarming rates in UK

By anita nair

London, Dec 1 (ANI): Over 50,000 hate crimes were reported last year, a 12 percent rise in the total number of hate crimes from 46,300 in 2008, according to UK Home Office figures.

In addition to this, year-on-year there were over than 4,000 more race related crimes and 500 more crimes linked to sexuality, the Daily Mail reports.

In 2009, the figures showed that there were 43,426 race-related hate crimes last year, 4,805 motivated by sexual orientation, 2,083 crimes by religion or faith, 1,402 by disability and 312 by transgender issues.

Britain's largest force, the Metropolitan Police, emerged as the hate crime capital in the country last year, with 11,658 crimes - more than a fifth of all hate crimes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Greater Manchester Police, the force with the second highest number of hate crimes, recorded 5,348 last year, followed by West Midlands Police with 2,992, the paper said.

The paper quoted Devon and Cornwall Chief Constable Stephen Otter, the Acpo lead for equality, diversity and human rights, as saying that he hoped publishing the figures would "encourage victims and witnesses to come forward."

"Against the 2008 benchmark year we believe the 2009 data shows an increase in all five classifications of hate crime. Whilst we want to reduce the incidence of these crimes, it is vital that we close the gap of under-reporting," he added.

According to Professor John Grieve, chairman of the Government's hate crime advisory group, the publication of the figures represents a significant step towards understanding the nature and extent of hate crime. He also said: "the UK is amongst world leaders in the way that it responds to hate crime, but there is still much work to do." (ANI)

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