Press Release

Better records to help support hate crime victims

Better recording of hate crime across the EU will help Member States continue to fight this persistent problem. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ latest report provides compelling evidence of what Member States are already doing with tips on how they can improve.

Any hate crime system is only as good as the information it gets,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “To send a strong and clear message that hate will not be tolerated in Europe, Member States need to be even smarter in their approach to measuring hate crime. This helpful report is a key resource to guide those efforts.

Victimisation surveys, such as the ones conducted by FRA, continue to underline how hate crime and hate-motivated harassment towards many groups – migrants, LGBTI people and minorities - persist across the EU. However, official statistics rarely tell the same story undermining societal trust in the systems that are there to protect them.

The ‘Hate crime recording and data collection practice across the EU’ report shows how national police, legislators and policy makers recognise the need to improve hate crime recording. They acknowledge this will help honour Member States’ commitments to combat prejudice and create inclusive societies.

The report’s overview of practices across all 28 Member States builds on the activities of FRA’s subgroup on methodologies for recording and collecting hate crime data and the online compendium of practices. Drawing on these practices, it suggests how Member States could improve:

  • They should collect detailed data on the various biases behind hate crime. Only 15 currently break down their hate crime data. Such details would allow the police to monitor how effective their responses are and can help rebuild trust among communities.
  • They should conduct regular victimisation surveys to get a better insight into the national situation. Only nine Member States do such surveys with questions specifically on hate crime.
  • They should capitalise on civil society know-how by strengthening cooperation between police forces and civil society in areas such as training and outreach.
  • Police forces should ensure a more tolerant culture pervades all levels of their service to instil a wider respect and understanding towards potential hate crime victims.
  • Police officers should always have to assess if crimes are motivated by hate to ensure the crimes can be properly prosecuted. 15 Member States already provide their officers with some guidance; others should do so.

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