'Still a long way to go' as racist incidents fall

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The Independent Online

The number of racist incidents in England and Wales has fallen by seven per cent in the last year, according to Home Office figures released yesterday.

The figures showed 54,872 incidences of abuse deemed to be racially motivated in 2009/10 but that fell to 51,187 in 2010/11. The most significant fall was in Durham, where there were 23 per cent fewer racially motivated crimes, while the largest increase was in Norfolk, which saw a 29 per cent rise.

However, figures also showed that disability hate crimes rose by more than a fifth last year. Police recorded 1,569 incidents where the victim thought the alleged crime was motivated by their disability in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, compared with 1,294 in 2009.

Iqbal Bhana, deputy chairman of the Government's hate crime advisory group, said: "It is good to see progress but there is still a long way to go before we can be satisfied that hate crime victims are properly protected."