Britain’s largest police force has revealed it has seen a rise in reported hate crimes since the EU referendum. New figures show 599 incidents of race hate crime were reported to Scotland Yard between 24 June – the day the result was announced – and 2 July.
It means the Metropolitan Police was receiving an average of 67 allegations a day in the wake of the poll. This was a rise of more than 50 per cent compared to the average daily number of 44 prior to 24 June. Commander Mak Chishty, who leads on community engagement for the Met, said: “We can report there has been an increase in hate crime offences since the UK EU referendum.”
On any given day there are between 25 and 50 racial incidents in London and the MPS has been monitoring reported incidents of hate crime closely in light of recent events.
“We are carefully analysing every incident to see what is happening across London and these figures may change as victims come forward and report incidents after the event. The vast majority of these incidents involve abusive and offensive language.
“I would strongly urge both victims and witnesses to come forward and report any such incidents to police as soon as possible.”
He added that police recognise that people “are feeling anxious at the perception of increased intolerance against certain communities”.
In a letter to Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe stressed the Met takes hate crime ”extremely seriously”.
He said that on 26 June they decided to move their policing approach from a ”monitoring position“ to a ”proactive pan-London policing operation”. Patrol plans were adjusted to deliver a visible presence in areas considered most affected.
A flurry of reports to police around the country and on social media sparked fears of a wave of xenophobic and racial abuse in the wake of the referendum.
In the latest incident to emerge, Avon and Somerset Police appealed for witnesses after a Polish man suffered ”significant injuries“ following a racially aggravated assault by two men on the day the referendum result was announced.
The victim, in his 30s, was walking along St Michael’s Avenue in Yeovil, Somerset, at about 6pm on 24 June.Two men approached him and asked if he spoke English, before repeatedly punching and kicking him. The attack continued as he lay on the floor.
He required hospital treatment for a potentially life-changing eye injury, a fractured cheekbone and substantial bruising to his body. The incident was not reported to the force until 27 June.
Numbers of hate crime incidents in the Avon and Somerset Police force area have more than doubled since the EU referendum.
Last week it was revealed that hate crime incidents reported to a national police portal were five times the typical weekly level. A total of 331 incidents were reported to the True Vision online site – equivalent to 47 each day – from 23 to 29 June. The tally, disclosed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, compared with a weekly average of 63 reports.
Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that extra cash for security measures will be available, while a new action plan on the issue will be published.An official report published last year said there were an estimated 222,000 hate crimes on average per year in England and Wales. The most commonly reported motivating factor was race.