Reports of racism jumped 41 per cent in month after Brexit vote

Police reports of racist offences soared by 41 per cent year-on-year in July, the first full month after Britain's vote to leave the European Union, the government said on Thursday.

"There was an increase in the number of racially or religiously aggravated offences recorded in June 2016, followed by an even sharper increase in July 2016," the Home Office said in a report based on police statistics.

The number of recorded offences fell in August after hitting a peak of around 5,500 in July, but it remained at a higher level than before the Brexit referendum on June 23.

"These figures make it very clear that some people used the referendum result to justify their deplorable views and promote intolerance and hatred," said David Isaac, head of the government-funded Equality and Human Rights Commission.

"We cannot allow this to continue and we must do all we can to bring the country back together," Isaac said in a statement.

Some of the reported incidents involved verbal or physical attacks against citizens of other EU nations, but many were also reported against British Muslims and other British minorities.

In one of the latest incidents, a Muslim woman reported having her hijab, or religious veil, pulled off as she walked along a street in north London last week.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the daytime attack was "deeply worrying" and called for "strong action from authorities to show that they are taking all hate crimes seriously, including Islamophobia," following the post-Brexit spike.

One key factor in the campaign for Brexit was a rise in concerns about immigration into Britain.

Last update: Thu, 13/10/2016 - 15:35
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