Hate crime incidents in Lincolnshire have increased by 49% between 2017 and 2019, and police said recording of the incidents has improved significantly.
It increased from 432 incidents in the county in 2017/18 to 643 in 2018/19. During this period disability related hate crimes have increased by 20% and racially aggravated offences by 50%.
Offences relating to sexuality or transgender identity have increased by 76% and 71% respectively.
The only type of hate crime to reduce is faith-related hate crimes, which dropped by 15%.
Chief Inspector Steve Williamson, force lead for hate crime, said: “There is never any excuse for committing a hate crime and we don’t tolerate anyone who feels it is acceptable to cause distress or for someone to live in fear.
“Please don’t ever try to shrug off a hate crime as these crimes have the potential to escalate into something even more serious.
“Police recording of hate crime has improved significantly so this increase isn’t a surprise to us and we now have a more accurate picture of hate crime in Lincolnshire.
“We hope that Hate Crime Hank will help us raise awareness of the consequences of hate towards others and encourage communities to continue reporting offences to us.”
Marc Jones, Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “Hate crime continues to be underreported and nationally we know that around 40% of hate crimes are not reported to the police. This means that our officers didn’t hear about 250 incidents last year.
“I welcome the fact that more victims are having the confidence to come forward and report this despicable abuse and it’s vital that their cases are properly investigated.”
‘Hate Crime Hank’
Police have launched a dinosaur character – ‘Hate Crime Hank’ – as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2019, which runs from October 12-19.
The message from the police is not to be a dinosaur like Hank and that communities can help make hate crime a thing of the past.
Victims of hate crime, or anyone who has witnessed it, should contact police on 101, or 999 if someone is in immediate danger.
Anyone who doesn’t wish to speak with police can report it to Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625 or by clicking here.