The Brexit vote and terror attacks in London and Manchester fuelled the largest annual rise in hate crime since records began, according to new figures.

The number of hate crimes recorded by police has increased by 29% since last year as offences spiked after the EU referendum and Westminster Bridge terror attack in particular.

The Home Office data showed total hate crimes rose from 62,518 offences in 2015/16 to 80,393 in 2016/17.

Hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2015/16 and 2016/17(PA Graphics)

Its report noted four spikes in racially or religiously aggravated offences in England and Wales in the last year: in June 2016 and March, May and June 2017.

These spikes coincided with Britain voting to leave the EU, the Westminster Bridge attack, the Manchester Arena bombing and the attacks at Borough Market and Finsbury Park Mosque.

The Home Office report said: “The increase over the last year is thought to reflect both a genuine rise in hate crime around the time of the EU referendum and following the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack, as well as ongoing improvements in crime recording by the police.”

The data, which the government began collecting in 2011/12, splits hate crime into five categories: offences motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

Racially or religiously aggravated offences recorded by the police(PA Graphics)

Racially aggravated offences were the most common to be documented by police, making up 78% of last year’s hate crimes.

The new figures come after it was revealed fewer alleged hate criminals were prosecuted last year.

In 2016/17 a total of 14,480 hate crime prosecutions were completed across England and Wales, down 6.2% from the previous year.

The Crown Prosecution Service noted in its report there was a small increase of 0.7%, from 12,997 to 13,086, in the number of hate crime cases referred by police in 2016/17 compared with the previous year.

Hate crimes recorded by police, top 10 biggest increases(PA Graphics)

However, this slight rise followed a 9.6% drop in referrals from 2014/15 to 2015/16.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “There is absolutely no place for hate crime in our society and this Government is taking action to tackle it.

“I am heartened that that more victims are more confident to come forward and report incidents of hate crime, and that police identification and recording of all crime is improving.

“But no-one in Britain should have to suffer violent prejudice, and indications that there was a genuine rise in the number of offences immediately following each of this year’s terror attacks is undoubtedly concerning.”

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said: “This rise in hate crime is unacceptable, especially after a drop in police referrals has seen a fall in prosecutions.

“The Tories have made great claims about tackling burning injustices. But they are clearly not tackling the great injustice of being attacked simply because of your religion, your sexuality, the colour of your skin or your disability.”