Over 200 hate crimes motivated by racial prejudice and hostility were committed in Lincoln and neighbouring areas in the five years up to April 2015, according to new data.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that 214 hate crimes fuelled by race were carried out in Lincoln and West Lindsey, higher than anywhere else in the county.
However, the number of hate crimes reduced year on year in this period, falling from 80 in 2010-2011 to 22 in 2014-2015.
Similarly, racially motivated hate crimes across the county significantly fell in the same time frame, from 173 to just 57 in 2014-2015.
A racist hate crime is defined by police as: “Any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race.”
In total, there were 1,376 recorded racial incidents in Lincolnshire in the five years disclosed as part of the findings.
Of these incidents, which can be anything that is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person, 566 occurred in Lincoln and West Lindsey.
Superintendent Maria Staniland said: “Lincolnshire Police takes seriously every incident that is reported to the force, including those that are racially motivated, and investigates thoroughly.
“Along with partner agencies we have done a lot of work with our local communities to engage with them and take on their concerns, and also offer education and learning where it might be necessary.
“We are pleased to see that this work may have helped contribute to a decrease in the numbers of reports of racially motivated hate crimes, especially because this issue remains one of our priorities.
“It is incredibly important for our communities to stand together against crimes motivated by prejudice and hate. We appreciate and understand that changing attitudes is never going to be an easy task but we remain committed to it and urge any victims to come forward rather than endure these crimes in silence.”
Councillor Rosanne Kirk, Portfolio Holder for Social Inclusion and Community Cohesion at City of Lincoln Council, added: “We are aware of the figures and are committed to working hard with our partners to tackle hate crime and encourage people to be tolerant and respectful of each other, regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity.
“A Difference Day event due to take place in October has been organised by Just Lincolnshire and will give people the opportunity to discuss the reporting of hate crime. We’ve recently held training sessions for our frontline staff to raise awareness of it and how it should be dealt with.
“It is important that racial incidents and racially motivated hate crimes are reported so that not only can the perpetrators be identified, but we can also continue to learn how to educate people so that these types of crimes are not committed in the first place.”