New study will reveal how a decade of disadvantage has affected lived experiences of hate crime

Researchers at the University of Leicester will assess how major social, political and economic changes in Britain over the last decade have impacted upon communities that have already experienced hate crime.

Trigger events, such as Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Black Lives Matter protests and counter-protests in 2020 have been key factors behind an alarming 53% rise in recorded hate crime across the UK over the past five years. Researchers now want to find out how these events have affected the lived experiences of hate crime victims and, furthermore, how the victims’ own thoughts, feelings and attitudes to hate have evolved over time. 

The project will be led by Professor Neil Chakraborti, Director of the Centre for Hate Studies, who also led Britain’s largest ever hate crime study 10 years ago. Professor Chakraborti will re-visit participants from the study to understand how their experiences have changed or been added to in light of the events of the last decade, including the rapid growth of online hate. The study will also capture any positive changes and differences in perception that have arisen from either the passage of time or from the way in which participants have processed their experiences of hate.

Professor Neil Chakraborti, Director of the Centre for Hate Studies at the University of Leicester explains: 

“This project is centred around people whose lives have been shaped by marginalisation, hostility and harassment. Their experiences are likely to have intensified during a decade of economic hardship and political indifference and, as such, this research comes at a particularly significant point in time. The research also has added importance at a personal level, as it gives me an opportunity to reconnect with people who shared their stories so candidly as part of The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Britain's largest ever study of hate crime victimisation. Ten years on from that study, this new project will capture changes - both positive and negative - through a process of grassroots engagement and filmmaking, and in doing so, the project will humanise the emotional, physical and wider harms associated with hate crime.”

The project has been made possible thanks to a research fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust. Further information about the Centre for Hate Studies can be found here.