Fourteen weeks later and a new report by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance has given official weight to the unwelcome phenomenon.
It has concluded the EU referendum seems to have led to a rise in “anti-foreigner” sentiment in the UK.
It highlighted the levels of hate speech and racist violence, as well as a ”considerable intolerant political discourse focusing on immigration and contributing to an increase in xenophobic sentiment”.
Police figures showed a spike in hate crime reports in the weeks after the referendum in June. The number later dipped, but remained higher than 2015.
Social media accounts that began documenting incidents back in June and haven’t stopped posting since.
The commission said a particularly high number of violent racist incidents occurred even before the referendum in 2013, with a sharp rise in anti-Muslim violence.
“You fucking terrorists are taking our jobs.”
“Fucking Muslim” - directed at a white cancer sufferer wearing a headscarf to protect her from the sun.
Antisemitic incidents reached the highest level ever recorded in 2014, according to the body - which is part of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe.
Christian Ahlund, the chair of the watchdog, said: “It is no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in the UK at the same time as we see worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians.
“The Brexit referendum seems to have led to a further rise in ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment, making it even more important that the British authorities take the steps outlined in our report as a matter of priority.”
The report also said there are “significant gaps” between equality law in Great Britain and in Northern Ireland and pointed to the absence of a national strategy for the integration of Roma, Gypsies and Travellers in the UK.
Incidents against Polish people have also been widespread.
“Fucking Polish grass.”
Polish police drafted in to help British forces.
A number of positive developments were cited in the study, however. The commission welcomed the entry into force of the Equality Act 2010, and said the UK has generally strong legislation against racism and racial discrimination.
The Government launched a new action plan to tackle hate crime in July.
Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism Sarah Newton said: “We are clear that there is no excuse for hate crime against anyone of any nationality, ethnicity or religious background - it has no place whatsoever in our diverse society.
“This commitment is underpinned by some of the strongest legislation in the world.
“We welcome that the Commission has recognised the strength of our new hate crime action plan which will help reduce hate crime, increase reporting and improve support for victims.”