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Racist Attacks After Brexit Soar As Hate Crimes Reported To Police Increase By 57%

Hate crimes reported to police have risen by 57%.

27/06/2016 18:54 | Updated 28 June 2016

Racist attacks directed against Muslims, including young children, prove the Brexit vote has "legitimised the prejudice of some people" as the number of hate crimes reported to police soar by 57%.

A detailed list compiled by Tell MAMA, a group that measures anti-Muslim attacks, details the abuse people have received since the European Union referendum result on Friday.

It comes as the National Police Chiefs' Council reveals that hate crimes reported to the police has risen 57% between Thursday and Sunday compared to the corresponding days four weeks ago.

Daniel Watson
Protesters in Newcastle called for immigration to 'stop' and repatriation to 'start' following Friday's Brexit result.

Following the rise in racist attacks, the Metropolitan Police force has been placed on heightened alert for any rise in hate crime.

Faith Matters, an interfaith group that works on countering extremism projects, released the hate crime figures that were reported through Tell MAMA. 

Fiyaz Mughal, founder and director of Faith Matters, said that, since Friday's results, incidents of racist abuse have been reported predominantly from visible Muslim women who have had comments such as "we voted you out, why are you still here" directed at them.

Muslim Council Of Britain
The Muslim Council of Britain has compiled over 100 hate incidents since the referendum results. These screen shots are reports of actual incidents or hate on social media
Muslim Council Of Britain

Mughal said: "The Brexit vote seems to have legitimised the prejudice of some people to the point where they are verbalising and targeting people at a street level who are visibly different.

"This is England 2016 and this is totally unacceptable."

Examples of the racist behaviour documented includes a taxi driver telling a Muslim woman that he voted to leave the EU "to get rid of people like you".

Other people report being called a "p***" and physical abuse.

Below is a selection of some of the 30 incidents reported to Tell MAMA following Friday's result.

The result of the EU referendum has seen an increase in anti-immigration rhetoric. 

A selection of some of the 30 incidents reported to Tell MAMA following Friday's referendum result

Scores of people have been documenting online the racist abuse that they have received since Friday's result.

Sima Kotecha, a BBC One and Radio 4 journalist, said she was in “utter shock” after being called a “p**i” in her home town - a word she says she has not heard in that area since the 1980s.

Dozens of people responded to Kotecha on social media, condemning the abuse that she received.

Sam Coates, deputy political editor at The Times, said that the racist abuse Kotecha faced in her home town made it “hard to deny link to referendum”.

Labour MP Paula Sherriff said the abuse was “absolutely shocking”, adding that she was aware of similar incidents near her. 

Another MP, Alison McGovern, called the abuse “absolutely horrific”.

Journalist Anita Anand said that she had heard similar “wretched” stories from friends of hers. 

Over the weekend a number of people revealed the #PostRefRacism they had received.

Police are investigating suspected racist graffiti scrawled on a Polish community building in London.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, MPs from across the main political parties condemned the spate of racist attacks in recent days.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "Real concern exists about immigration, but too much of the discussion in the referendum campaign was intemperate and divisive.

"And in the days following the referendum result it appears we have seen a rise in racist incidents such as the attack on the Polish centre in Hammersmith, which the Prime Minister quite rightly referred to, and sadly many such other sad incidents all over this country."

He called for this "disgraceful racist behaviour" to be halted.

Corbyn said that as political leaders it was their "duty" to "calm our language and calm our tone".

David Cameron agreed that "all action" must be taken to "stamp" out intolerance.

SNP MP Angus Robertson also spoke out against the attacks.

Robertson said: "I hope that we all, on all sides, totally repudiate these despicable acts and encourage the police and prosecuting authorities to do all that they can." 

Harriet Harman, former deputy leader of the Labour party, said: "The leaders of the Brexit campaign have engendered an atmosphere where some people believe it is open season now for racism and xenophobia."

On Monday Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he had asked Scotland Yard to be “extra vigilant” after a number of incidents were reported in the capital and around Britain.

Khan said: “I take seriously my responsibility to defend London’s fantastic mix of diversity and tolerance.

“So it’s really important we stand guard against any rise in hate crimes or abuse by those who might use last week’s referendum as cover to seek to divide us.

“I’ve asked our police to be extra vigilant for any rise in cases of hate crime, and I’m calling on all Londoners to pull together and rally behind this great city.”

Faith Matters' Mughal said: “The Brexit vote seems to have given courage to some with deeply prejudicial and bigoted views that they can air them and target them at predominantly Muslim women and visibly different settled communities.

"This is unacceptable and further polarising and especially worrying when our 2015 annual findings are showing some young white males between the ages of 13-18 being radicalised by extremist far right narratives.”

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