THE number of race hate crimes being prosecuted in West Yorkshire has increased dramatically.
New figures have revealed that the county is second only to London.
Last year the CPS pursued 547 cases through the courts in West Yorkshire compared to just 319 two years ago. In Kirklees the figure was 30.
A CPS spokeswoman said some defendants were charged with more than one racial offence.
London was top of the list with 926 race cases and West Midlands third with 534.
Nationally, the number of racially-aggravated offences rose by 28%, the Crown Prosecution Service statistics showed, but the figures showed there was no evidence of a significant backlash against Muslims in the wake of the July 7 bombings.
Director of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald said: "Racist and religiously-aggravated crimes are particularly nasty because victims are targeted solely because of their identity or beliefs.
"These crimes don't just affect individual victims and their families, but whole communities. The CPS is determined to take a robust view of these cases.
"Prosecutors will work closely with the police to make sure the strongest evidence is put before the courts to convict offenders."
A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "West Yorkshire Police takes racially-motivated incidents extremely seriously and actively encourages people to report them.
"As a force we have introduced a number of schemes to maintain and improve the numbers of people coming forward for all hate crime incidents.
"There are now over 240 reporting centres across the county at venues including Citizens' Advice Bureaux, housing offices, places of worship and community rooms.
"The number of reports received from these centres has increased year on year. This is testament to the support and enthusiasm given by partner agencies and local communities."