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UK: Hate crimes: sudden rise after Brexit vote

Monday 10 October 2016, by siawi3


Saturday 8 October 2016 20.36 BST Last modified on Saturday 8 October 2016 21.47 BST:

Hate crimes: Homophobic attacks in UK rose 147% in three months after Brexit vote


Campaigners call for tougher laws after hate crimes against LGBT people more than doubled after EU referendum.

The number of homophobic attacks more than doubled in the three months after the Brexit vote, with toxicity fostered by the EU referendum debate spreading beyond race and religion, new figures suggest.

Hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people increased 147% during July, August and September compared to the same period last year, according to the LGBT anti-violence charity Galop [1].

Statistics from the police have already documented a spike of hate crimes against ethnic minorities and foreign nationals [2]. Few analysts predicted a rise in hate crime based on victims’ sexual orientation, however. Galop gave support to 187 LGBT people who had suffered hate crimes in the three months that followed the referendum vote, compared with 72 in the same period in 2015. The rise is proportionately higher than other hate crime rises in the wake of Brexit .

More than 3,000 allegations of hate crimes were made to UK police, largely in the form of harassment and threats, in the week before and the week after the 23 June referendum vote, a year-on-year increase of 42% [3].

On Monday the Home Office will publish comprehensive hate crime reporting figures covering the year until April 2016, although sources say they will also include an addendum addressing the post-Brexit spike. The figures are also expected to focus on Scotland Yard’s progress in tackling disability hate crime [4].

The law creates a ‘hierarchy of hate crime’ and sends the message that some groups are more worthy of protection
David Isaac, EHRC chair

Nik Noone, Galop’s chief executive, said: “UK responses to hate crime are among the best in the world but our hate crime laws are far from perfect. The highest prison sentence a court can give for homophobic, transphobic or disability common assault is six months. That is just a quarter of the two-year maximum for race and faith common assault. This disparity needs redress.”

David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: “Currently, the law and sentencing policy create a ‘hierarchy of hate crime’ and send the message that some groups are more worthy of protection than others. This undermines confidence of victims in the law – and may contribute to the huge levels of under–reporting in some communities. We call on the government to undertake a full-scale review of aggravated offences and sentencing provision.”

Four in five respondents to the Galop report, released today, say they have experienced hate crime. However, only a quarter reported the last hate crime they experienced, suggesting a gap in the data collected by police and government departments. The report, based on a survey of 467 LGBT people, shows low satisfaction with the police, with half of those who reported a hate crime to them feeling unsatisfied with the outcome.

A government spokesman said: “In a Britain that works for everyone, hatred against a person because of their sexual orientation will not be tolerated. We welcome Galop’s recognition that UK hate crime laws are among the best in the world, but there is more to be done – and the government’s hate crime action plan, published in July, included measures to encourage prosecutors to pursue tougher sentences for all hate crimes, including those targeting the LGBT community.”



[2] ESSF (article 39184), Britain, race-hate offences: ’Horrible spike’ in hate crime linked to Brexit vote, Met police say.





The Guardian. Wednesday 28 September 2016 15.11 BST Last modified on Thursday 29 September 2016 00.10 BST:

Britain, race-hate offences: ’Horrible spike’ in hate crime linked to Brexit vote, Met police say

by Matthew WEAVER

Eastern Europeans ‘particularly targeted’, Hogan-Howe reports, with more than 2,300 offences recorded in period after referendum.

A “horrible spike” in hate crime after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was at least partly linked to the referendum, Britain’s most senior police officer has said.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan police commissioner, told a hearing at London’s City Hall 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.

Monitoring presented at the hearing by the London mayor’s evidence and insight team showed a 16% 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.

Hogan-Howe expressed alarm about the figures. “We saw this horrible spike after Brexit,” he said. He revealed there was a connection between the referendum and many of the incidents and pointed out that many of the victims were eastern Europeans.

Hogan-Howe said: “We couldn’t say it was absolutely down to Brexit, although there was obviously a spike after it. Some of them were attributed to it because of what was said at the time. We could attribute that, and 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.”

He added: “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 pledged that more specialist officers dedicated to tackling hate crime would be deployed.

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.”

Figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council showed a 49% rise in hate crime incidents to 1,863 in the last week in July in England, Wales and Northern Ireland compared with the previous year [1].

A survey by the Guardian found that European embassies in Britain have logged dozens of incidents of suspected hate crime and abuse against their citizens since the referendum [2].

The vast majority of incidents involved citizens from eastern European countries, with more attacks against Poles than against all the other nationalities put together.

They include the killing of Arkadiusz Jóźwik in Harlow [3], in an apparently unprovoked attack that is being treated by police as a possible hate crime. Five 15-year-old boys and one 16-year-old boy [4], all from Harlow, were arrested on suspicion of murdering Jóźwik and bailed until 7 October pending further inquiries. A second Polish man survived the attack.