The number of religious hate crimes in Tyne and Wear has doubled in the past year, new figures reveal.
Statistics released by the Home Office show that 48 religiously motivated crimes were recorded by Northumbria Police in 2014/15, compared with 20 in 2013/14.
Nobody should be targeted because of who they are, this is just not acceptable and we take every single incident very seriously.Assistant chief constable Debbie Ford
There were a total of 912 hate crimes in the area in 2014/15, an increase of 35% compared with 2013-14 – which is a leap of nearly twice the national average.
A total of 79 crimes were carried out because of people’s sexual orientation, while 28 people were victimised because they have a disability.
The release of the figures comes during National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2015 and top police officers have vowed to bring the number of incidents down.
Assistant chief constable of Northumbria Police Debbie Ford said: “Nobody should be targeted because of who they are, this is just not acceptable and we take every single incident very seriously.
“Northumbria Police will continue to raise awareness of hate crime and ensure anyone who feels they have been targeted because of being transgender or because of their race, faith, disability, sexual orientation, age or gender can come forward safe in the knowledge we will take their concerns seriously and provide the support they need.
“Anyone can report a hate crime. Whether you are a victim, family member of a victim, a carer or someone unrelated but have witnessed an incident, please come forward – we want to know and be given the opportunity to help and support those involved.
“The timely publication of this report coincides with National Hate Crime Week, which seeks to encourage the reporting of Hate Crime through a number ways including third party reporting and the use of the Northumbria Police website.
“This report shows that reporting of hate crime has increased in the Northumbria Police area. This is something we view very positively as a reflection of our efforts to build trust and confidence in our communities.”