A shocking spike in hate crimes across Britain has been recorded since the public voted to leave the European Union last week.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council revealed hate crimes reported to police rose 57% between Thursday and Sunday compared to the correspondent days four weeks ago.
Nationalities including Eastern Europeans, Muslims and Americans and Germans have reported acts of intimidation and harassment.
The surge in xenophobia expressed in taunts, threats and physical violence has been witnessed by public figures too.
Adam Boulton, an anchor for Sky News, tweeted that he and his family had witnessed three separate incidents of abuse aimed at Europeans over the weekend. Channel Four's Ciaran Jenkins said that within a five-minute span in the northern England town of Barnsley, three people had shouted "Send them home!"
And BBC reporter Sima Kotecha said she was in "utter shock" after having returned home to the southern town of Basingstoke and been abused with a racial slur she hadn't heard "since the '80s."
What is a hate crime?
The Citizens Advice Bureau defines a racist or religious hate incident as such if the victim or anyone else thinks it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on race or religion.
Such incidents can include verbal and physical abuse, bullying, threatening behaviour, online abuse or damage to property.
When such incidences become criminal offences, they are known as hate crimes.
Reporting hate crimes
- In an emergency (if the offender is still present, may return or anyone is hurt or in danger), dial 999.
- For non-emergencies call 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via email here.
- Attend any police station or ask for an officer to visit you at home. You can ask someone (a friend, relative, community leader, solicitor) to speak on your behalf if you wish.
- You can file an online incident reporting form here.
If you are still in danger, dial 999. Otherwise, you can use this online form to report anti-Muslim attacks. Once the information is received, a trained case worker will call to discuss the issue further.
Community Security Trust
The CST has an online form to report anti-Semitic hate crime here. It provides victim support while maintaining confidentiality. The CST will liaise with the police and other bodies to ensure the incident is dealt with properly.
- Stand Up To Hate has provided this step-by-step guide to reporting hateful content on YouTube.
- Advice for reporting abusive behaviour and messages directly to Twitter can be found here. The Twitter hashtag #PostRefRacism has also been used to draw attention to such incidents.
- Facebook posts can be reported using the Report link near the post, photo or comment.
Support and information for victims of hate crimes can be found here.