Only one race hate crime on social media in Suffolk led to a charge

Hundreds of children were dealt with by police for sexting in the last four years Picture: GETTY/IS

There have been almost 100 incidents of racism reported online in Suffolk - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The number of racist incidents reported on social media in Suffolk has risen over the past few years - but only one person has been charged with an offence.

Data from a Freedom of Information request sent to Suffolk Constabulary showed that there had been 98 incidents in Suffolk in the four years up to May this year. 

2018

2019

2020

2021

Suffolk

22

27

37

12

The majority of these , 27, were reported over Facebook followed by Instagram, 17. 

2018

2019

2020

2021

Facebook

9

4

13

1

Instagram

3

11

2

1

Snapchat

2

2

Whatsapp

1

1

Text

2

2

Call

1

1

1

1

Message on social media

2

Web chat forum

1

Internet

1

Discord

1

1

Messages

4

3

2

Social media

2

3

2

Live streamed video

1

Xbox

1

Online

2

1

Email

5

1

Messages and calls

1

1

Online pharmacy

1

Tik Tok 

1

Twitter

2

Zoom

1

However, despite almost 100 incidents being reported to police only one person had been charged or summonsed following an incident. Four had been dealt with by way of a caution.

The majority of the incidents, 31, were categorised as having suffered from evidential difficulties which prevented them from being further pursued. 

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In 25 of the cases no suspect was ever identified and the incident was closed as it had been investigated as far as reasonably possible. 

Five cases' outcome was either not recorded or ongoing. 

Inspector Vicky McParland said: “Suffolk Constabulary takes every report of hate crime very seriously and investigates incidents thoroughly.

“Hate crime in any form is unacceptable in today’s society and can have a devastating and often life changing impact on the victim.

“Finding the perpetrators who commit the crime online brings its own challenges, but we still take it very seriously, and are developing skills though our Digital Support Officers to assist in these often complex investigations.

“We work hard to raise awareness of what a hate crime is, meaning we now receive more reports.

"We want victims to be confident in coming forward, and we work with partners and external support groups to further raise awareness of hate crime and encourage wider reporting. We also provide inputs to school children to ensure the implications of hate crime are raised with them and its unacceptability in modern society.

“Through hate crime scrutiny panels we regularly review investigations and raise awareness amongst our staff and the community, to encourage reporting of hate crime and provide the appropriate support to people affected by it.

“Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care provides a free and confidential support service to help victims and witnesses of all types of crime, including hate crime. Support can be provided even if the incident has not been reported to the police.”

For more information about Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care visit nsvictimcare.org or call 0300 303 3706. 

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