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There's been a big rise in racist crime reports in the UK since the Brexit vote

New figures show that there were five times as many racist attacks as normal since last Thursday.

(File photo) Campaigners from Stand Up to Racism protest through Trafalgar Square in London in March.
(File photo) Campaigners from Stand Up to Racism protest through Trafalgar Square in London in March.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

REPORTS OF RACIST incidents in the UK have greatly increased in the wake of the vote to leave the EU, new figures show.

The figures from the UK’s National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) show that there were five times as many reports of racist attacks as normal from last Thursday to yesterday.

In total, 331 hate crime incidents were reported to the national online reporting site in the UK, compared to a weekly average of 63.

A number of racist incidents and attacks have featured prominently in the media in the wake of last Friday’s referendum result.

One incident caught on video on Tuesday showed three youths on a tram in Manchester racially abusing a man and shouting at him to “go home to Africa”.

There were also reports of Islamophobic leaflets being put through doors in Birmingham, and xenophobic graffiti and signs being left outside primary schools.

“Shocked and disgusted”

Sara Thornton, head of the NPCC, said that she was “shocked and disgusted” by the spate of attacks reported on since last week.

Phone hacking claims Sara Thornton. Source: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

“Like the vast, vast majority of people, I have been shocked and disgusted at some the cases of racial or anti-immigrant abuse that have been reported this week,” she said.

We have also been heartened by the people who have intervened to challenge abusive behaviour, condemn it and reassure victims that those views are not representative of Britain.

As well as racist attacks, Thornton said that there had been an increase in “community tension” directed at the migrant community since the vote.

“In a number of forces, migrants are reporting verbal abuse, negative social media commentary including xenophobic language, anti-migrant leafleting and, in very limited numbers, physical assaults,” she said.

All of these incidents are under active investigation.

Thornton also said that it was important to remember that an extensive focus on the issue of hate crime over the past seven days could have influenced the high numbers of reports and that it was not possible to determine how many of the attacks were linked to the Brexit vote.

Read: Three arrested in Manchester following “disgusting” racist abuse on early morning tram commute

Read: Man arrested after two women targeted in racist hate crime in Belfast

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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