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The ESEA Data Collective

Last Updated: 2024.02

The ESEA Data Collective, consisting of three parties:

- Voice ESEA

- End the Virus of Racism

- King's College London

are now leading the third iteration of the Freedom of Information Data Project.



ESEA_DC (19-20).jpg

As featured on ITV News, an ITV documentary, Resonate News, in presentations shaping a module at the University of Surrey, and for Salesforce.

To join the next iteration of analysis- 

Find maps and datasets from:

- Iteration 1 (2019-2020) (Voice ESEA) + Visuals

- Iteration 2 (2019-2021) [To download: click on 'view raw')

As Featured In
Join In
Raw Data
ESEA_DC (20-21).jpg
ESEA_DC (19-21).jpg

Iterations 1 + 2: The Findings
            v1: iteration 1 (completed in 2021) | v2: iteration 2 (completed in 2022) 

2019-2020 (v1)

Out of the 47 jurisdictions' responses reviewed: 

In 34 jurisdictions, there was an increase in reported hate crimes (for Police Scotland, hate concern incident nominals) when comparing the year totals. 


For 10 of these 34 jurisdictions with such recorded increases, there was another increase in the year 2021 when compared to 2020.  

2019-2020 (v2)

Updates to our 2021 v1 FOI project  

 This is in slight contrast to our original findings in our first project , which is summarised at the end of this page(subject to terms and conditions of use).  

 Collated and published by the team in 2021, readers can identify differences in how datasets defined hate crimes against 'ESEA' people, and in the amount of data available for the years included in the study. 

2020-2021 (v2)

Out of the 47 jurisdictions' responses reviewed: 

In 19 jurisdictions, there was an increase in reported hate crimes when comparing the year totals.  

2019-2021 (v2)

Out of the 47 jurisdictions' responses reviewed: 

In 34 of those jurisdictions, there was an increase in reported hate crimes (for Police Scotland, hate concern incident nominals) when comparing the year totals.  


Note: In 15 of these cases, although 2020 figures were higher than recorded than for 2021, the 2021 figures are still higher than for 2019. Even though figures went down for year 2021 compared to 2020, they were still higher across the nations when comparing to 2019 levels.  


Table: Percentage change in the number of reported Hate Crimes against people identified as ESEA. After the pandemic, by year.

Northern Ireland

Table: Count of the number of reported Hate Crimes against people identified as ESEA, by year (and Voice ESEA Project iteration)

2019 (v1)
2020 (v2)
2021 (v2)
Northern Ireland

Iterations 1-2: Summary

2019-2020 (v1)

In Iteration 1, we found that hate crimes against the ESEA community between 2019-2020 increased in each nation:


  • UK-wide: 67.60%
    (997 for y2019 and
    1671 for y2020 recorded)* 

  • England: 63.04%
    (855 for y2019 to
    1394 for y2020 recorded)

  • Wales: 50%
    (26 for y2019 to
    39 for y2020 recorded) 

  • Northern Ireland: 61.54%
    (13 for y2019 to
    21 for y2020 recorded)

  • Scotland: 109.20%
    (87 for y2019 to 182 for y2020 recorded)* 



*Note Police Scotland's use of "hate concern nominals" 

2019-2020 (v2)

In 2020 we repeated our request for data between 2019-2020, hence, iteration 2. In this study,  each nation also showed an increase between 2019-2020: 

  •  UK-wide: 26.42%
    (2532 for y2019 and
    1671 for y2020 recorded)  

  • England: 34.17%
    (1349 for y2019 and
    1810 for y2020 recorded)  

  • Wales: 117.86%
    (28 for y2019 and
    61 for y2020 recorded)  

  • Northern Ireland: 61.54%
    (13 for y2019 and
    21 for y2020 recorded)  

  • Scotland: 13.40%
    (1127 for y2019 to
    1278 for y2020 recorded)* 

 *Note Police Scotland's use of "hate concern nominals" 

2020-2021 (v2)

In terms of aggregate figures, we see decreases all around for 2021 compared to 2020.
Note: In 15 of these cases, although 2020 figures were higher than recorded than for 2021, the 2021 figures are still higher than for 2019.

  • UK-wide: -9.10%
    (1671 for y2020 to
    1519 for y2021 recorded)* 

  • England: -9.68%
    (1394 for y2020 to
    1259 for y2021 recorded) 

  • Wales: -20.51%
    (39 for y2020 to
    ​31 for y2021 recorded) 

  • Northern Ireland: -14.29%
    (21 for y2020 to
    18 for y2021 recorded) 

  • Scotland: -23.08%
    (182 for y2020 to
    140 for y2021 recorded)* 


 *Note Police Scotland's use of "hate concern nominals" 

2019-2021 (v2)

Therefore, even though figures went down between 2020-2021, the number of hate crimes in 2021 were still higher across the nations when comparing to 2019 levels.  




  • UK-wide: 52.36%
    (997 for y2019 to
    1519 for y2021 recorded)* 

  •  England: 47.25%
    (855 for y2019 to
    1259 for y2021 recorded) 

  • Wales: 19.23%
    (26 for y2019 to
    31 for y2021 recorded) 

  • Northern Ireland: 38.46%
    (13 for y2019 to
    18 for y2021 recorded) 

  • Scotland: 60.92%
    (87 for y2019 to
    140 for y2021 items recorded)* 


 *Note Police Scotland's use of "hate concern nominals" 


Disclaimers: Please read- What is a hate incident? Hate incidents are incidents that are motivated by hatred or prejudice against someone because of their actual or perceived: · disability · gender identity · race · religion · sexual orientation Hate incidents can be criminal or non-criminal;hate incidents that amount to criminal offences are known as hate crimes. Hate incidents can be committed against a person or property and can include: · arson, · bullying, · damage to a house or car, · graffiti · harrassment · malicious communications,?such as?offensive mail, text messages or emails,  · offensive or dangerous substances being posted to an individual,  · physical violence and assault,  · threats, or  · verbal abuse. Hate incidents can also be directed at whole communities through:  · acts of terrorism, · desecration of graveyards, · offensive graffiti in public places, or  · vandalism of places of worship.  If more than one hate incident is experienced by the same person or group of people, it may constitute harassment. The incident does not need to be personally perceived as hate related. It is sufficient that another person thought that the incident was hate related. It will still be a hate incident if someone makes a mistake regarding the victim's identity. For example, if a victim is attacked because the perpetrator thought they were of a particular race, the action would still be considered a hate incident, even the victim is not of that race. There are no publicly available statistics on non-criminal hate incidents recorded by the police. What is a hate crime?  When a hate incident also constitutes a crime, it is known as a hate crime. A racial hate crime is any crime where the perpetrator demonstrates hostility towards the victim based on their actual or perceived race, colour, nationality, or ethnic or national origin. It is a criminal offence to incite racial hatred, whether through written or spoken words, or through behaviour. This includes publishing or distributing material that is likely to incite racial hatred. In addition to criminal law, there are civil remedies available to victims of hate crimes, such as seeking damages or obtaining an injunction to prevent further harassment. Notices The content provided in this document is for general information only. It has been retrieved and interpreted from the original underlying Freedom of Information Act ('FOIA') request responses received from respective police forces. The ESEA Data Collective and associated parties cannot guarantee the accuracy, quality, validity, completeness or suitability of the content provided for any particular purpose and such content may be subject to inaccuracies, omissions or errors. The information contained on this page may be subject to copyright and other laws, as well as the rights of third parties. 'We' or 'our' shall be taken to mean all of the parties involved in the ESEA Data Collective. Each of the parties involved in the ESEA Data Collective do not and will not accept liability for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions, or reliance upon or use of the content. We shall be under no obligation to notify any person of any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. The content is provided on an 'as is' basis. To the extent permitted by law, we disclaim all guarantees, conditions, representations or warranties (whether express or implied by law) including the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security and accuracy. We are not responsible or liable for any loss or damage of any nature or kind arising out of the use of the content. The content is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content.? Any links to third party websites in the content do not amount to any endorsement of that site by the ESEA Data Collective and any use of third party websites is at your own risk. · Comparisons between data:?One individual police force's response to the relevant questions should not be used for comparison purposes with other police force's responses received. However, although police data may come in multiple formats, the figures may help provide an indication of the prevalence of hate crimes in certain regions compared to others, and an overall picture of the change in hate crime figures in the UK.  · Completeness of data:?These rates may not reflect the full scale of figures of hate crimes, given victims may not wish to report such incidents to the police for a variety of reasons. We have only focussed (unless specifically indicated) on hate crimes and not hate incidents, so there may be other racially-aggravated incidents that have not been counted as part of this review.  · Identifying ESEA individuals:?In some cases, the police force has loosely defined its identifiers, for example using 'Asian' or 'any other Asian background'. We have attempted to focus on groupings which explicitly include ESEA identifiers, but this has not been possible in all instances. For example, some of the results captured may use an identifier that is simply 'Chinese', or may extend to the generic 'Asian' category. There may be populations that are ESEA that have not been identified and therefore the figures may be understated for certain regions. In other cases, the category 'Asian' used by certain police forces may result in overstated figures when considering the ESEA demographic.  · Consistency of data:?UK police forces are routinely required to provide crime statistics to government bodies and the recording criteria is set nationally. However, the systems used by each police force for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the crime data. · Relevance of data:?The data systems used by police forces may be part of a 'living' system in that it is constantly being updated. As such the data may only be verifiable in relation to the specific date/time of extraction. We may from time-to-time update and change the content, figures and information that we provide and/or publish.  · Accuracy:?While we try to ensure that all content is correct at the time of publication, the content may contain a degree of human error, whether by the police forces that collate the data or the volunteer team that published the content. No responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Voice ESEA or EVR for any errors, omissions or inaccurate content. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content is accurate, complete or up to date.  Approach EVR and Voice ESEA issued Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests ('FOI requests') to 48 police forces across the United Kingdom to determine the rates of police-reported hate crime against ESEA individuals in 2019, 2020, 2021 and part of 2022 in select regions. A team of volunteers from both organisations worked together on a project to obtain the results of the FOI requests, as well as review and publish the data (the 'ESEA Hate FOI Project 2022' or 'Project').Volunteers reviewed the responses from the police forces to determine an appropriate methodology (outlined below). In implementing the methodology, the data on the Project was summarised in a spreadsheet and in each instance, one volunteer inputted the data and a different volunteer verified it. Please note that the original and unprocessed FOI requests results are publicly available and accessible on the following website: This website is, however, independent from the Project, EVR and Voice ESEA and none of the parties nor volunteers have any responsibility nor liability for the contents of such website.

Open Source methodology and resources to empower the community with Freedom of Information data


FOI Data Collection + Cleaning

Successful FOI Requests and the structure are provided on request.

Considering the jurisdictions' budget for requests, these included clearly stated ethnicity, hate crime markers and date-time parameters.

We also clearly stated the structure and the file type format the output was expected in.

This ultimately helped increase the efficiency of our interactions with jurisdictions.


Collaborative Analysis

Questions beyond 'How has the number of hate crimes against the ESEA community changed between x and y years'? were probed in Iteration 3.


What else can reported data from police jurisdictions teach us?


Data Visualisation + Dissemination


In Iterations 1-2, our novel research was used to shape a university module at the University of Surrey, and to shape discussion on ITV News.

Easily accessible infographics and heat maps were shared widely to enable identification of regions with increasing rates of hate crimes against the community.

An In-Depth Version

The Project has employed the below methodology, which attempts to produce a high-level overview of hate crimes in a given region based on the best data available from the relevant police force.

1. Counting only hate crimes: This Project only considers hate crimes, unless otherwise stated. The rationale behind this is to ensure we can maintain consistency across the data (as police forces may provide hate crimes only, hate incidents only, or both, and often there is less data available for hate crimes). To better compare data received across police forces, the Project has decided to focus on hate crimes only (however, for Police Scotland, we used “hate concern nominals”).  2. Focusing only on annual totals and relevant percentage changes: The Project has only identified aggregate totals for 2019, 2020 and 2021. In doing so, the Project has provided data on percentage changes between 2019 and 2020, as well as 2020 and 2021. The Project has also collected figures from 2022 with totals only up to the date that the police force has provided.   3. Identifiers: The Project's preference is to under-count rather than over-estimate figures in connection with hate crimes impacting ESEA individuals. This is not always possible as some police forces may not use granular groupings that explicitly. Instead they only identify ESEA groups, for example, 'Asian'or 'any Asian background'. On the other hand, some police forces may only identify 'Chinese' but provide no other ESEA groupings in their figures. The Project has considered the available data from the FOI requests and in each case determined to use one of the following groupings. Efforts have been made to look at the data on a case-by-case basis to determine where some figures should not be counted (for example, where one hate crime involves multiple identifier tags and these are not mutually exclusive).  (3a) 'Aggregated ESEA Figure':  This is where a police force has been able to provide granular data on hate crimes for distinct ESEA ethnicities. When we use the term 'Aggregated ESEA Figure', this counts any ethnic identities that are explicitly ESEA. This includes where the volunteer has exercised discretion to determine that: (i) the police force has inputted a visual identification made by a police officer themselves and the victim has failed to identify themselves; or (ii) where a general identifier such as 'Asian' or 'any other Asian background' is used but additional information on the individual has been provided, such as an ESEA nationality. In order to reduce the risk of overcounting where aggregate figures under this grouping are provided, the Project has taken a decision under this grouping not to include identifiers that may include ethnicities / identities other than ESEA people, such as the general term 'Asian', 'any other Asian background'. Where appropriate to infer that an individual is mixed race (e.g., ESEA and white), we use our discretion to include this in our figures; or   (3b) 'Chinese':  This is where a police force has only been able to provide granular data on hate crimes for the identifier 'Chinese'; or   (3c) 'Asian': This is where a police force has only been able to provide data for the identifiers 'Asian' or 'any other Asian background', and where there are no distinct ESEA identifiers used by the police force. This identifier carries a risk of over-counting as it may include other Asian ethnicities outside of the ESEA ethnic group.?This grouping is not currently relevant for the responses we have received at the date of publication.?

Meet the Data Team

The ESEA Data Collective is lead by Voice ESEA, End the Virus of Racism and King's College London. Our analysts from iterations 1 to 3 answered our call to action.

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