Yesterday, we shared news that a wave of “hate crimes and racial abuse” had hit the UK following the Brexit vote, with more than 100 incidents reported to media and police.
It turns out the real number is dramatically — and frighteningly — higher.
The number of reported hate crimes has soared to five times the usual level following the Brexit vote, police have said.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) revealed 331 hate crime incidents had been reported to an national online portal, True Vision, since the EU referendum, compared to the weekly average of 63.
Sara Thornton, the NPCC chairwoman, said: “It is important to remember that this is only one reporting mechanism and extensive focus on this issue in the last few days will have influenced these numbers by making hate crime and the site more visible and encouraging people to report.
“In a number of forces, migrants are reporting verbal abuse, negative social media commentary including xenophobic language, anti-migrant leafleting and, in very limited numbers, physical assaults.”
The former Thames Valley Police chief constable said hate crime was “significantly under reported” despite more people reporting such crimes than ever before.
She advised people afraid to leave to their homes that the police were “there to deal with this kind of abuse”.
“So our message to them is don’t give way to bullies and don’t suffer in silence,” she added.
Boing Boing reports that one North London street has been blanketed with white power handbills:
Twitter user LDLDN posted this image of a racist National Front poster on a lamppost in Camden, a neighborhood in north London — a relatively affluent, diverse neighborhood dominated by a giant subculture market, two huge train stations (St Pancras and King’s Cross), a university, and the British Library.
According to LDLDN, the posters lined a whole street, St Pancras Way. In itself, this doesn’t mean much: one nutter with a bucket of wheatpaste and an inkjet printer could pull it off. But it’s part of a wider trend of reporting on racist incidents in the UK where the aggressors cite the Brexit vote in their tirades against brown people, Poles and other eastern Europeans, and people marked as other in UK society.