Police figures show hate crimes among children in Nottinghamshire have risen by 60% in the last year.

Figures obtained by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children revealed a rise in hate incidents within schools.

Last year, it was recorded there were 243 incidents of hate crime happening among children across Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire, compared to 152 the year before.

These hate crimes revolved around issues such as race, religious beliefs or different faiths.

A breakdown of the figures shows that in Nottingham, 61 incidents over 2015/2016 had risen to 100 in  2016/2017, revealing a 60% increase.

Dame Esther Rantzen, president of Childline, said: “Bullying of any kind is vile, but targeting someone because of the colour of their skin, religious beliefs or their accent is simply unacceptable.

“Children are taking on board prejudices around race and religion in society and trading them as playground insults, with extremely harmful results.

“Young people should be encouraged to be proud of who they are. Racial bullying can be hard to cope with but young people need to know they don’t have to carry this burden alone. Childline is here for all young people and talking to someone might help them find a way to deal with the situation.”

Shirley Maginley, from the NSPCC, said parents should be held responsible for the rise.

She said: “Adults, of course, have a very important role to play in terms of being role models for children.

“But sadly that is not always the case as we know. This is why it is so important that young people have other means of reaching out and get that help, whether that is in schools or through our childline service.”