Race and religious hate offences double in six years

Racially and religious-aggravated offences recorded by police in England and Wales have doubled in the space of six years, according to the latest Home Office figures.

Some 60,763 offences were recorded in 2018/19, up just over 100% on the 30,238 offences recorded in 2012/13.

The figures, released on Thursday, cover five categories of offence, all of which are defined as hate crimes.

They include racially or religiously-aggravated assault, harassment and criminal damage.

Three-quarters of police forces in England and Wales, 33 of 44, recorded a rise in these offences from 2017/18 to 2018/19.

The remaining 11 all recorded a drop.

The total 60,763 offences recorded in 2018/19 is the largest number for any 12-month period since these categories of offences were established in April 2012.