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Hate crimes soar with three reports a day to police in the county

Franstine Jones, of Suffolk Constabulary.  Picture: SARAH-LUCY BROWN

Franstine Jones, of Suffolk Constabulary. Picture: SARAH-LUCY BROWN

Hate crimes have soared in Suffolk in the past two years with three reports a day now coming in to police in the county.

There was a rise in hate crime after the Manchester terror attack. Picture: PETER BYRNE/PA WIRE There was a rise in hate crime after the Manchester terror attack. Picture: PETER BYRNE/PA WIRE

The figures, obtained by this newspaper through a Freedom of Information request, show how from 2015 to 2017 there was a 115% increase in reports of hate crimes to police.

There were 252 reports from April to October 2015 compared with 541 in the same period in 2017.

Incidents peaked in July 2017 with 93 that month. It followed the terror attacks in Manchester and London in May and June.

In October 2017, the last month figures are available for, there were 77 reports.

Franstine Jones, from Suffolk Police, said officers had worked hard to raise awareness of what a hate crime was; meaning police were now getting more reports.

“A lot of communities don’t recognise it as hate crime,” she said. “If someone calls them a name they just think they are being horrible without realising that is a crime.”

Once reported to police, hate crimes are ranked on a level of seriousness and if there is any harm caused, Ms Jones said victims would be visited by a police officer.

The biggest hate crime reports are to do with race and religion followed by disability and sexual orientation.

Police in London on the night of the terror attack in Borough Market in June. There was a peak in hate crimes after this incident.  Picture: YUI MOK Police in London on the night of the terror attack in Borough Market in June. There was a peak in hate crimes after this incident. Picture: YUI MOK

Reports of racial hate crimes have fallen in the last two years but disability and sexual orientation hate crimes have increased.

There was also a spike in reports after the Brexit referendum in June 2016, which prompted Ipswich Borough councillors to speak out against hate crimes.

There were reports of European students at schools being told to “go home”.

The areas with the biggest increases in hate crimes are Ipswich East, Felixstowe and Woodbridge and Lowestoft.

There was a spike in hate crime reports after the EU Referendum. There was a spike in hate crime reports after the EU Referendum.

Figures released in October last year also showed attacks on mosques had increased in Suffolk and Essex from March to June 2017.

An arson attack took place in January last year at the Al Falah Braintree Islamic Centre.

Kashif Ahmad, imam at the centre, said: “We need to talk to one another and understand what we all stand for.”

Volunteer lifesavers rescued a stranded yacht off the Essex coast this afternoon.

A person has died after a serious crash on the A12 near Copdock this afternoon.

The East of England Ambulance Service answered 3,200 calls per day over the winter period, new data shows.

The sunshine, blue skies and record breaking temperatures of recent days are set to come to a thundery end - with heavy rain and lightning expected across the region this weekend.

Police investigating a series of power tool thefts from vans and properties in Suffolk have recovered more than 120 items.

Commuters are facing a second day of disruption on the region’s main rail line after two separate faults were reported – with problems expected until the end of the day.

Suffolk firefighters have been called to assist with an accident on the A14, which is said to be causing delays in Cambridgeshire this evening.

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