MORE than three quarters of all hate crimes in North Yorkshire are race-related, police have revealed.

North Yorkshire Police said 76 per cent of the 282 hate crimes reported between 2012 and 2017 were racially aggravated, including abuse shouted in the street, racist terms scratched into the paintwork of cars, graffiti on walls, and instances of criminal damage to businesses.

Police said the LGBT community were the second-most affected group, and made up 12.4 per cent of reports, followed by disability hate crime (5.8 per cent), and religious hate crime (5.3 per cent).

The number of hate crime reports has increased year on year since 2012 and year to date figures for 2017 have seen 282 reports being made.

Superintendent Mark Khan, lead in force for hate crime, revealed the figures this week, as the force marked National Hate Crime Awareness Week, but said although the number of hate crimes had risen every year since 2012, this was a positive sign.

He said: "Rather than the year on year increase in reports being indicative of instances of hate crimes increasing in number, the rise in the number of reports reflects the growing confidence of victims to no longer accept this intolerable behaviour and to come forward to the police.

"However, we recognise that there is lot more to do to encourage victims and witnesses to come forward and make that report. With the population of North Yorkshire being approx. 810,000 and the fact that over the past five years police have received 1,458 reports in total - we know that hate crime is a massively underreported crime."

The force also became the second force in the country to introduce gender-based misogyny as a hate crime in May this year, and have received eight reports since then.

Supt Khan urged anyone who was a victim of any form of hate crime to contact police on 101, or other organisations such as Stop Hate UK, True Vision, or Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire.

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