LONDON — The number of recorded hate crimes in the UK has surged by almost a third since Britain voted to leave the European Union.
The latest Home Office statistics show a 29% increase in recorded hate crimes in 2016/17.
The number of recorded hate crimes, which include any crime motivated by race, religion, sexuality, disability, or transgender, rose to over 80,000 — has risen to almost twice the level recorded four years ago.
The vast majority, some 89% of the recorded hate crimes were either public order or violent offences.
Some of the increase may be due to improved reporting methods, rather than a pure increase in hate crime. However, the Home Office acknowledged today that there had been a “clear spike” of 44% in recorded hate crimes in the immediate aftermath of Brexit.
Critics of the government’s Brexit strategy linked the surge to the rise in anti-immigration rhetoric following Brexit.
“The rise in hate crimes is a scar on the face of our nation. Politicians of all parties need to work together to tackle this scourge,” Stella Creasy MP, a supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said.
“While some of this rise may be attributable to improved reporting methods, there can be no doubt the Brexit vote has had an impact.
“Ministers must show that Britain is a welcoming society despite our exit from the EU. They need to drop their anti-immigration rhetoric and stand up for an open, tolerant Britain.”
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