In 2016, at the time of the Brexit referendum 21% or 1 in 5 of Sikhs responding to the UK Sikh Survey had experienced hate crimes in the last 12 months. This equates to over 100,000 Sikhs being the subject of hate crimes each year.
The UK Sikh Survey 2019 indicates this has risen to 32% of respondents. This is more than a 50% increase between 2016 and 2019 and suggests over 150,000 Sikhs are being subjected to hate crimes.
Home Office data released on 13 October 2020 shows reported hate crimes up 8% for the year 2019-2020 compared to 2018-2019. Reported religious hate crimes fell 5%, the first fall since 2012-2013, in part probably explained by a drop during Covid-19 restrictions.
When compared to 2018-2019 Home Office data , reported religious hate crimes in the last 12 months fell for Muslims by 12.5%, Jews by 9.3%, remained level for Hindus, but for Sikhs they increased by 7.3%. The increase for reported hate crimes for Sikhs last year was a staggering 61% as Sikh community organisations like the Sikh Network and the Sikh Federation (UK) raised awareness within the Sikh community of the importance of reporting hate crimes.
Despite this, 85% of respondents to the 2019 UK Sikh Survey who experienced hate crimes claimed not to have reported these hate crimes to the police in the last 12 months. 8 out of 10 said it was because it was a waste of time or they expected no positive outcome.
The UK Sikh Survey 2019 also found that 94% of those experiencing hate crime said this was because of their race or religion. Race was stated twice as often as religion. The increase in Anti-Sikh hate is therefore likely to be higher still given the majority of incidents or crimes will be reported as race hate crimes in line with CPS guidance that states that, “according to the law, Sikhs and Jews are members of both a racial and religious group”. Reported race hate crime increased 6% in 2019-2020, continuing the year on year increase since 2011-2012.