Laura Sharman 28 June 2016

Reports of hate crime up by 57% following Brexit

There has been a 57% increase in the number of hate crimes reported to a police website following last week’s referendum.

The increase in the number of reports made to True Vision has been condemned by prime minister David Cameron who said hate crime ‘must be stamped out’.

Over the past few days, details of alleged racist and xenophobic attacks have emerged, many of which are thought to be linked to Brexit.

This includes offensive graffiti left on the front of the Polish Social and Cultural Association in Hammersmith and Fulham. Police are investigating the attack, which is being treated as a hate crime.

Racist leaflets have also been found on cars outside homes and schools in Huntingdon, containing the words ‘No more Polish Vermin’. Police there are also investigating, saying whoever distributed the material is guilty of ‘inciting racial hatred’.

The Muslim Council of Britain has also warned the referendum result has led to more hate crimes and has compiled a list of more than 100 incidents reported since last Thursday.

Dr Shuja Shafi, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: ‘As the results of the referendum became known, I called for our politicians to come together and heal the divisions that have emerged as a result of the campaign. Now we are witnessing the shocking extent of this with reports around the country of hate speech and minorities being targeted.

‘We need leadership now more than ever before. Our country is experiencing a political crisis which, I fear threatens the social peace. Whatever differences we may have, it is vitally important that we demonstrate solidarity for those attacked, and state, in the words of the murdered MP Jo Cox, that “We have far more in common than which divides us”.’

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