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Hate crime (pink)Hate Crime

Hate crime is defined as ‘any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic’ (Home Office). There are five monitored strands of hate crime:

  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion or beliefs
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Transgender identity

Reported hate crime in Southampton by motivating factor 2018/19 to 2021/22. Click or tap to open a larger image.There were 1,189 recorded hate crime offences in Southampton during 2021/22, a +21.5% increase from 2020/21 and a +49.2% increase from 2019/20. This is in keeping with the national picture, with England and Wales experiencing a +26% increase in police recorded hate crimes between 2020/21 and 2021/22.

A hate crime can have multiple motivating factors (strands). Race continues to be the largest motivating factor of hate crime in Southampton (62.2% in 2022), followed by sexual orientation and disability. The Home Office also found the majority of hate crimes across England and Wales to be racially motivated (70%). Additionally, the majority of respondents from the 2022 Southampton community safety survey who witnessed or experienced a hate crime, perceived race or ethnicity as the most common motivating factor (61%), followed by sexual orientation (37%).

The main drivers for increases in police recorded hate crime over recent years, are thought to be greater public confidence to report hate crime and improvements in police recording. Increases seen in Southampton over recent years could also reflect local reporting processes, where individuals reporting a crime are directly asked whether they think the crime is a hate crime or motivated by hate.

Number of racially or religiously motivated/aggravated offences recorded by the police, Southampton and England and Wales, January 2016 to March 2022. Click or tap for a larger image.However, there is evidence to suggest that there have been short-term, genuine rises in hate crime following trigger events, such as terrorist attacks or political events. For example, there was a peak in racially and religiously motivated hate crimes in the summer of 2020 following the murder of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests and counter protests.

Hampshire Constabulary note that there are greater concentrations of hate crime in densely populated and deprived areas, with neighbour disputes and the night-time economy common triggers. This is evidenced locally, with Bevois and Bargate wards showing the highest rates of hate crime in Southampton. Shirley and Millbrook wards also had significantly higher rates of hate crime compared to the city average in 2021/22.

A summary report and slide set produced as part of the 2021/22 Strategic Assessment are available to download below. The interactive community safety dashboard can be accessed using the link below. For more information on crime in Southampton, see the Safe City Strategic Assessment page.

Community Safety Dashboard


2021/22 Safe City Strategic Assessment

The Southampton Safe City Strategic Assessment provides an overview of current and future crime, disorder and community safety issues affecting Southampton and makes recommendations to enable the Partnership to focus the Safe City Strategy and local delivery plans. The slide set and report that informed the assessment are available below to download.

Safe City Strategic Assessment Report (2021/22)
pdf | 5MB | 20.12.22
Safe City Strategic Assessment Presentation (2021/22)
Slide set
pdf | 8MB | 20.12.22
Community Safety Dashboard

Safe City Strategic Assessment Report (2020/21)

Safe City Strategic Assessment Report (2020/21)
pdf | 4MB | 30.11.21

Archived assessments

This section contains archived reports from previous Safe City Strategic Assessments. For the latest report and data on crime and community safety in the city, see the Safe City Strategic Assessment above.

Safe City Strategic Assessment (2019/20)
pdf | 6MB | 24.11.20
Safe City Strategic Assessment (2018/19)
pdf | 19MB | 18.12.19
Safe City Strategic Assessment (2017/18)
pdf | 1MB | 19.12.18
Safe City Strategic Assessment (2016/17)
pdf | 15MB | 04.02.18
Safe City Strategic Assessment (2015/16)
pdf | 8MB | 06.12.16
Safe City Strategic Assessment (2014/15)
pdf | 7MB | 30.11.15

Other resources

Home Office – Hate crime, England and Wales, 2021 to 2022

Last updated: 20 December 2022