The number of hate crimes have risen in Gloucestershire, according to the Liberal Democrats.

The statistics obtained via a Freedom of Information request have revealed the total number of hate crime in 2017 had increased by 21% since last year.

The latest information reveals 343 incidences of hate crime have been reported to Gloucestershire Constabulary over the past year. Lib Dem Councillor and Spokesperson for Fighting Crime in Gloucestershire, David Brown, has said race is a high contributing factor in regards to hate crime, with 263 incidents being recorded.

He said, “these figures are continuing to increase is deeply worrying. It is awful that we are seeing an increase in the number of people venting deep seated hatred towards others mainly because of their race.”

Brown added the European referendum may be influencing the rising number of hate crimes: ‚ÄúI remember after the Brexit vote there was a spike in race hate crimes in England and Wales. It was awful reading the many examples of such hatred in the papers which included verbal and physical abuse, white powder sent to mosques, an Eastern European shop targeted by arsonists and an attack on a curry house to name just a few,” he said.

“Crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation are¬†hate crimes¬†and should be reported immediately to the police.”

A further request made by the party found between the 24th June 2016 and 24th September 2016 there was 92 recorded hate crime incidents, although between 24th June 2017 and 24th September 2017 there was a twofold increase to 186.

Brown says he want more transparent between the emergency services, he said: “I would like to know more about what the police and other agencies are doing to reduce the number of hate crime offences.”

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