SPECIALIST hate crime police units are to be set up across Spain to counter a big rise in hate crime and discriminatory offences in recent years.

Hate crimes led by racist and LGBTQ assaults has risen by 41% between 2016 and 2021.

The government says they also want to reduce the level of cases that are not being reported

Speaking on Tuesday, Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, said: “Hate crimes attack the very heart of our democracy”.

A new 86-point plan to counter hate crime has been unveiled which will run until the end of 2024.

Special newly-formed Policia Nacional and Guardia Civil units will seek to ‘protect, detect, investigate, and stop hate crimes’, said Grande-Marlaska.

The objective of the new plan is to ensure victims of discriminatory, humiliating, violent or coercive attacks are not afraid to report incidents and to gain police protection.

“We are trying to prevent behaviour that attack us all from going unpunished,” the Interior Minister added.

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