To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) political discourse, (b) the print media and (c) social media on the level of hate crime in the UK in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
18 June 2019
The Home Office and key partners continue to build understanding of the drivers of hate crime through research and evaluation of hate crime programmes, and consultation with subject matter experts including the Independent Advisory Group and local practitioners.
Alongside the Hate Crime Action Plan refresh in October 2018 the Government published a thematic review of the current evidence base – this can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hate-crime-action-plan-2016. The review highlighted the complex nature of the drivers and harms of hate crime, including the impact of political and other events, such as the 2017 terrorist attacks, in triggering ‘spikes’ in offending.
In recognition that political discourse, the print media and social media may have a role in hate crime, the Action Plan set out a number of commitments, including work with the Society of Editors and the Independent Press Standards Organisation. More broadly the Government published the Online Harms White Paper on 8 April 2019, and delivered a communications campaign to increase public awareness of the different forms hate crime can take.