From December 2015 to December 2016, statistics show that hate crimes rose by more than 20 percent in the borough of Newham, with 587 crimes of this nature reported this past year, compared to 484 in 2015.
A hate crime is described by the Metropolitan Police as any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person, or any offence where the offender demonstrates hostility based on the victim’s membership of a racial or religious group.
The EU referendum in June 2016 is widely regarded as one of the reasons behind the rise in hate crime. In July 2016, the first full month after the Brexit vote, more than 5000 hate crimes were reported to police nationwide.
Areas which voted Remain experienced the lowest rates of increase. City of London reported a rise of under 20 percent, but Essex and Kent – two counties which voted Leave – reported rises of 41 percent and 60 percent rise respectively.
David Isaac, Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, pointed out that the Brexit vote is not the original source of the problem: “a small minority of people used the Brexit vote to legitimise inexcusable racism and prejudice. We cannot allow such intolerable acts of hate to be condoned or repeated.”