Statistics on religiously aggravated offences in England and Wales cannot be separated from recorded crime statistics for racially and religiously aggravated offences.
The police treat faith hate incidents as racist incidents. Their definition when recording such incidents is, “any incident which is regarded as racist by the victim or any other person”. This is the definition recommended by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.
As a consequence, the statistics available do not distinguish between religiously and racially aggravated crime. The total number of racially or religiously aggravated offences recorded in England and Wales has risen from 31,035 in 2002-03 to 35,022 in 2003-04 and to 37,074 in 2004-05, according to the Home Office Statistical Bulletin “Crime in England and Wales 2004/05”.
Placing this rise in perspective, the British Crime Survey (BCS) put racially motivated incidents at around 179,000 based on interviews in 2004-05. The estimated number of racially motivated incidents was 206,000 based on the 2003-04 interviews, and there was a similar response in 2002-03. The BCS figures for these years were not broken down by the religion of the victim.