Hate crime in UK up by 57% after Brexit win

By @chelean on
Union Jack and the European Union flag
The Union Jack (bottom) and the European Union flag are seen flying, at the border of Gibraltar with Spain, in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, June 27, 2016, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU Brexit referendum. Reuters/Jon Nazca

Reports of hate crime in the United Kingdom have increased 57 percent following the win of Brexit votes in the EU referendum, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council. Incidents of racial abuse and xenophobia have surged, with people reporting experiencing first-hand how badly others have treated them after the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

A growing number of people are reportedly being harassed by other people for their skin colour, nationality and even last names. According to stories on social media, minorities, including children, have been told to “go home” and leave the country as Britain is only for British people. Some people claim there were others who chanted “make Britain white again” outside mosques and other minority-dominated communities.

Areas where Polish community is strong have been reportedly vandalised as well. Laminated leaflets with the words, “Leave the EU. No more Polish vermin,” in Polish and English were left in letterboxes.

In response, the embassy of Poland in London has issued a statement, calling the incidents of racial abuse against Polish people and other residents of migrant heritage deeply concerning.

“We call on all Polish nationals who fall victim of xenophobic abuse and on all witnesses to report such incidents to the local authorities,” the statement reads.

Cambridgeshire Police said it is investigating the leaflets, urging people to come forward if they have any information about the sign’s maker.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation in October following the Brexit win on Friday, lashed out at those who abuse EU immigrations, Asian people and other minority groups in the country.

“We have a fundamental responsibility to bring our country together,” Cameron said at the Commons. “In the past few days, we have seen despicable graffiti daubed on a Polish community centre, we’ve seen verbal abuse hurled against individuals because they are members of ethnic minorities. Let’s remember these people have come here and made a wonderful contribution to our country.

“We will not stand for hate crime or these kinds of attacks. They must be stamped out.”

The rise of racism incidents has been attributed to the 52-48 win of the Leave campaign in the EU referendum on Thursday. The hashtag #PostRefRacism has since trended on social media, with people sharing their experiences of harassments.

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