There has been a 42% increase in the number of reported hate crimes since the EU referendum, new figures have revealed.
The National Police Chiefs' Council said 3,076 hate crimes and incidents were reported to polices forces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 16-30 June 2016, an increase of 915 reports compared to the time period last year.
Violence against a person, including harassment, common assault and verbal abuse, was the main offence reported over the two weeks, followed by public order offences and criminal damage.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Hate Crime, assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton said: ‘We now have a clear indication of the increases in the reporting of hate crime nationally and can see that there has been a sharp rise in recent weeks. This is unacceptable and it undermines the diversity and tolerance we should instead be celebrating.
‘Forces have been monitoring and managing hate crime more robustly since the attacks in Paris in 2015. We believe that greater awareness and confidence in the police response has contributed to this increase in reporting.’
Although the number of reports have started to decrease since 25 June 2016, the council said it would continue to collect weekly figures to monitor the situation.