Hate crime is on the rise in Britain since the results of the EU referendum pointed Britain towards the exit of the European Union. In recent years Britain has had low levels of outwardly expressed racism, and we have grown complacent, thinking that to some extent we had overcome this weakness in the human condition, and undermined its position in our society. But the increasing incidence of blatant, in your face, racism experienced by people on the street, and in public life, has blown away the previous complacency and we are left facing a rising tide of hate crime of a predominantly racist nature.
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) recorded a 57% increase in hate crime reports in the days after the referendum, compared to the same period four weeks previous to that. But that was just the initial surge, by the end of a full week the NPCC reported that hate crime incidents had increased from 63 pre-referendum to 331 post referendum, a staggering 525% increase.
There have been an increasing number of mainly racist hate crimes brought to light on social media. A shocking case on a Manchester tram showed three young men subjecting a non-white immigrant from the US to a tirade of foul racist abuse, calling him a “f*cking immigrant” and then throwing beer over him.
There have been cards distributed in Huntingdon containing phrases such as “No more Polish vermin”. A halal butcher in Walsall has been firebombed in what the police are treating as a racist attack. And an Afro-Carribean day care centre had to be evacuated in Hulme, Manchester after receiving racist threats over the phone.
Professor Neil Chakrobarti and Dr Steve Hardy from the University of Leicester Centre for Hate Studies are convinced this recent increase in hate crimes is due to the “toxic climate” produced during the EU referendum debate. They think that this toxic climate has helped encourage people to publicly attack those they regard as different. Chakraborti says……
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