Wednesday, 27 January, 2016
A quarter (25%) of people have witnessed at least one hate crime or hate incident based on race or ethnicity in the last year, according to research released today by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust on Holocaust Memorial Day (Wednesday 27 January 2016). More than a fifth (22%) have seen an incident based on religion or beliefs.
                                                                                                                                                  
In total over a quarter (27%) say they’ve witnessed a form of hate crime or hate incident in the last year, defined as acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. More than two thirds (69%) of those who’ve witnessed abuse of this kind say they regret not challenging it. 
 
The research focused on five centrally monitored characteristics; race or ethnicity, religion or beliefs; sexual orientation; disability; and transgender identity. 
 
Younger people seem more willing to challenge a hate crime or incident by speaking to the person responsible for the abuse. One in six (17%) of 16-24 year-olds said they had intervened during an incident in this way, compared to one in eight (13%) of 25-34 year olds and just 7% of 35-44 year olds.  
 
More than a tenth (12%) of respondents said they themselves had been a victim of a hate incident or crime, with 60% of them saying no one intervened when it happened, despite there being people in the area. 
 
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Chief Executive Olivia Marks-Woldman says: 
 
'The theme for the thousands of Holocaust Memorial Day events taking place across the country today is Don’t stand by, and these figures show just how important that message is. Today is about remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, but it’s also about finding ways to make sure they can never happen again. We know that silence and indifference in the face of discrimination and hatred allows persecution to take root, so we want to encourage people to stand up and speak out, in the way many brave souls have in the past.' 
 
Forms of abuse
 
Verbal abuse such as name calling was cited as the most common form of hate crime or incident, seen by three in four (75%) of those who’d witnessed something in the last year. Nearly a third (30%) said they’d seen harassment, a fifth (20%) said they’d witnessed threats of violence, and 14% had seen physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing or spitting.
 
Victimisation on social media 
 
More than a quarter of people (28%) said they’d witnessed abuse online through platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Three quarters (77%) said they felt that there is no difference between bullying or ‘trolling’ someone online and shouting abuse in the street. 
 
Olivia Marks-Woldman added, “As well as taking stock of what’s happening in our own communities here in the UK today, we also need to be mindful of the fact that genocide is continuing in Darfur, where thousands of people have been murdered and millions have been forced to flee to makeshift refugee camps. We all need to reflect on the fact that the path to genocide begins with exclusion and discrimination, and that standing by allows hatred to take hold.” 
 
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark says:
 
'Holocaust Memorial Day serves as a time for reflection upon the lessons we must all learn from such an atrocity, to ensure it can never happen again. The key message of this year’s event – Don’t stand by – is one we should all adopt, so that hatred is challenged wherever and whenever it occurs.'
 
 
 
Notes to Editors 
 
About the research  
 
The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,007 respondents aged 16+ in GB between 02.12.15 - 07.12.15.  The survey was conducted from a random sample of UK adults.  Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.  
 
Definitions of hate crime and hate incidents 
 
Hate incidents and hate crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. There are five centrally monitored strands of hate crime: 
race or ethnicity
religion or beliefs
sexual orientation
disability
transgender identity
 
A hate incident is defined as any act, which may or may not be a crime, which the victim or any other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards an aspect of a person’s identity. Hate incidents include:
verbal abuse like name-calling 
harassment
physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting
threats of violence
hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages, hate mail
online abuse for example on Facebook or Twitter
harm or damage to things such as your home, pet, vehicle
graffiti
arson
 
If you have been a victim of hate crime or seen it happening you can report it. True Vision is an online tool which allows you to report hate crime of any sort directly to the police.  Supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Ministry of Justice, it’s easy to use and ensures that police will begin investigating straight away. Find out more: http://www.report-it.org.uk/