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Rise in hate incidents reported in Leamington after Brexit vote

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The month after the UK’s vote for Brexit saw a 57% rise in recorded hate incidents compared with the same period in 2015.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that 14 hate incidents were reported in the month after the EU referendum on June 23, compared with only eight incidents reported in the same period last year.

Just under three quarters of incidents were filed as expressing racial hate, with the most common type of incident reported as “public fear, alarm or distress” caused on the basis of someone’s race.

Racial hate

A hate incident is defined by the police as one thought to be motivated by prejudice on the bases of race or religion among other characteristics. Reports of hate incidents stayed stayed low in the two previous years, with eight crimes reported between 24 June – 24 July last year, and none in the same month in 2014.

Warwickshire Police revealed that, in two cases recorded the month after the referendum, perpetrators of the crimes were under ten years old and therefore couldn’t be prosecuted. Of incidents reported across the two months, most are under investigation or have been filed.Two of the 28 reports led to charges or further action.

The rise in reports of hate in Leamington reflects a nationwide trend in the aftermath of the UK’s vote to leave the EU on June 23. The immediate few weeks post-Brexit vote saw, at its worst, a 58% increase in reported hate incidents compared to the same period in 2015, according to the National Police Chief’s Council.

Children accused

3076 incidents in the UK were recorded in the last two weeks of June. This marks a significant jump from the 915 reports recorded in the same period last year, according to reports in the Independent.

The highest number of incidents for a particular day were recorded the day after the EU referendum result on June 25, with 289 incidents reported. In a Boar survey about racism on campus earlier this year, students left anonymous comments about incidences of racism they had experienced on campus.

When asked to describe any incidents they had experienced, one student said: “At a party two white girls said the party was ‘too black and smelt funny’ and decided to go somewhere ‘less black’.” Another student told the Boar that he had been told to “go back to Zimbabwe” when walking through the streets of Leamington.

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