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Hate crimes increased by 21% in 2023

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The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has presented the ‘Report on the evolution of hate crimes in Spain 2023’ during the fourth meeting of the Monitoring Commission of the II Action Plan to Fight Hate Crimes 2022- 2024.

The State Security Forces and Corps investigated a total of 2,268 criminal offences and hate incidents in Spain in 2023, which represents an increase of 21.3% compared to 2022, according to the ‘Report on the evolution of hate crimes’. hate in Spain 2023′.

Grande-Marlaska has linked the increase to greater social awareness and sensitisation about this type of crime, due in part to the work of the National Office to Fight Hate Crimes and the Security Forces and Corps. “This awareness is crucial to combat underreporting. Not only is the victim, in many cases, unaware of their own situation, but, unfortunately, on countless occasions it is also the witnesses who normalise it,” he said.

The minister has appealed to the responsibility of society to eradicate hate speech. “All of us, through our daily work, are responsible for ensuring that this discourse does not undermine social cohesion, stigmatising and dehumanising those who are different,” he added.

Racism and xenophobia, the most numerous hate crimes

Hate crimes due to racism and xenophobia, with 856 incidents, are the most numerous and represent 41.8% of the total complaints. This is followed by hate crimes committed in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity (522 incidents), while in third place are crimes of ideology (352 incidents).

Regarding the interannual variation, there is an increase in all areas, except in that of discrimination due to illness, which registers 11 incidents, the same as in 2022. Hate crimes against people with disabilities are those that suffer a greatest increase, 113% more than the previous year. Crimes due to anti-Semitism (77%) and anti-gypsyism (68%) also experienced a significant increase.

Regarding the criminal typology of these acts of hate, threats (433) and injuries (376) stand out first, followed by the promotion of hatred (200), insults (157) and damages (130).

By autonomous community, Navarra registers the highest rate of crimes, infractions and hate incidents per 100,000 inhabitants (14.14), ahead of the Basque Country (12.21) and the autonomous city of Melilla (10.53).

Profiles of victims and those investigated and detained

The report indicates that the State Security Forces solved 68.1% of the incidents in 2023, five points more than in 2002, and arrested or investigated 1,161 people, 38.5% more than the previous year.

The main victims of this type of crime are men (59.2%), while the most affected age group is between 26 and 40 years (33%). Minors account for 14.8% of all victims.

As regards the distribution of victims by nationality, the first place is occupied by Spanish women, with 62.1% of the total number of victims recorded. Among the victims of foreign nationality, those from Morocco recorded the highest number (8.3%), ahead of Colombia (4.8%).

The number of those arrested/investigated for hate crimes and incidents amounts to 1,161 people, mostly male (78%) and aged between 26 and 40 years, representing 25.4% of the total.

Follow-up to the II Action Plan against Hate Crimes

During his intervention in the Monitoring Commission of the II Action Plan to Fight Hate Crimes 2022-2024, the minister highlighted the high compliance with the measures established in the action plan and encouraged the National Office to Fight Hate Crimes. Hate Crimes to work in the second semester to promote a third biannual plan, starting in 2025, “that continues to put Spain at the forefront of the fight against hate crimes.”

Grande-Marlaska took advantage of the meeting to encourage citizen participation in the hate crime survey launched in 2024 by the National Office to Fight Hate Crimes, a “very useful” tool to find out about issues of interest. to fight hate crimes and apply appropriate measures in each case. The survey is available on the Ministry of the Interior website until July 31.

Two videos were also presented at the meeting as part of the “Break your silence” campaign, promoted by the National Office to Combat Hate Crimes for dissemination on social networks with the aim of raising awareness in society against hate crimes, focusing this time on those related to the LGTBI+ community and against racism and xenophobia.

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