MORE than 3,500 cases of race hate crimes have been recorded by West Mercia Police in the last five years, the latest figures reveal.

A freedom of information request showed that a total of 762 cases were reported last year across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire during 2018.

These cases include reports of violence with or without injury, criminal damage, arson, public order offences, stalking and harassment.

The total number for last year was down from 2017 when 934 cases were recorded.

The figures seemed to have peaked that year following year-on-year rises from 434 cases reported in 2014.

There were 610 and 798 recorded cases in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The total for the last five years was 3,538.