‘Horrible’ rise in hate crimes after Brexit: Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

By: | Published: September 29, 2016 4:38 PM

The UK has witnessed a "horrible spike" in hate crimes in London following Britain's referendum in favour of an exit from the European Union (EU), Scotland Yard commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe-l-reuAt a hearing at London?s City Hall yesterday, he said that hate crime was showing signs of decreasing after a sharp rise in June and July, but it had still not returned to pre-referendum levels. (Source: Reuters)

The UK has witnessed a “horrible spike” in hate crimes in London following Britain’s referendum in favour of an exit from the European Union (EU), Scotland Yard commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said.

At a hearing at London’s City Hall yesterday, he said that hate crime was showing signs of decreasing after a sharp rise in June and July, but it had still not returned to pre-referendum levels.

“We saw this horrible spike after Brexit,” he said.

While he stressed that the spike may not be “absolutely down to Brexit” but some of them were attributed to it because of what was said at the time.

He noted: “Eastern Europeans were particularly targeted within the race-hate crime (category). So there certainly was a spike related to it. We have fortunately seen it start to come back down, but I’m not sure we can say yet it is back to previous levels.”

According to the ‘Guardian’, data presented at the hearing by the London mayor’s evidence and insight team showed a 16 per cent increase in hate crime in the 12 months to August.

It also showed that in the 38 days after the referendum there were more than 2,300 recorded race-hate offences in London, compared with 1,400 in the 38 days before the vote.

“The absolute numbers are low, but we think it is massively under-reported (crime). Sadly, people don’t tell us about the harassment and the abuse that we know will go on out there,” Hogan-Howe said.

Sophie Linden, London’s deputy mayor for policing, who was hosting the hearing, said she was still getting daily reports about hate crime in the capital.

“It is worrying that it does not appear to have gone back down to pre-referendum levels,” she said.

Earlier, figures from the UK’s National Police Chiefs’ Council have shown a 49 per cent rise in hate crime incidents to 1,863 in the last week of July across England, Wales and Northern Ireland compared with the previous year.

A survey had found that European embassies in Britain had logged dozens of incidents of suspected hate crime and abuse against their citizens since the referendum on June 23.

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