week after Brexit referendum, UK police have registered a staggering
fivefold increase in hate crime incidents reported to the national
online site. Local officials have also noted a surge in both physical
and verbal attacks against migrants.
last Thursday, 331 hate crime incidents have been reported to the
national online reporting site True Vision compared to the weekly
average of 63 reports,” Sara
Thornton, head of the NPCC, wrote,
adding that, although “many
people are reporting hate crime than ever before,” it
Thornton has stressed that it is hard to tell how many of those cases
are directly linked to the referendum, the national community
tensions team has also noted a surge in anti-immigrant abuse. In just
one week, migrants have been reporting “verbal
abuse, negative social media commentary including xenophobic
language, anti-migrant leafleting and, in very limited numbers,
her own frustration, Thornton said she was “shocked
and disgusted” by
the upsurge. She has urging those who are suffering abuse not
in silence” and
stop feeding into the atmosphere of fear by giving in to bullies.
police report goes in line with the multiple cases of online abuse
documented on social media in the wake of the vote. Under hashtag
#PostRefRacism coined straight after the victory by the Leave camp
was official announced, dozens of people posted evidence of hatred
and racism towards migrants from Eastern Europe, in particular,
Poland and Romania, and the Muslim world.
recently, Jordanian-born British artist Yasmeen Sabri has shared her
story of being verbally attacked by a visitor to her London
exhibition for displaying
a burqa on
a stand for everybody to try on. She was approached by an apparently
disgruntled woman who started hurling insults at her and attempted to
tear the veil down until she was apprehended by security.
told me to go back to Saudi Arabia, even though I’m
Sabri, commenting on the incident, as cited by The Evening Standard.
couple of people tried to calm her down and she started telling them
‘Arabs don’t belong here, Arabs should leave the city," she
recalled, adding that that was the first time she was subjected to
such kind of racially-motivated abuse in the six years she has been
residing in London.
unprecedented hike in ethnically motivated violence, including a
reported attack on an eight-year-old Polish girl by fellow classmates
and leaflets reading “No more Polish vermin” thrown into letter
boxes and being distributed in the streets, prompted British PM David
Cameron to pledge extra funding to police to provide security at
give new guidelines to prosecutors related to hate crimes.
attacks are appalling and they need to stop and it’s right everyone
in this House and everyone on all sides of the referendum debate
utterly condemns them,” he
said, addressing parliament on Wednesday, stressing that the
government must make utmost efforts to “drive
these appalling hate crimes out of our country.”
sentiment has been riding high in the UK already before the vote with
anti-immigrant and anti-refugee rhetoric often employed by the
right-wing forces such as UK Independence Party (UKIP).
brutal murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox, an adamant advocate
against Islamophobia, who was shot and stabbed to death by an alleged
far-right supporter a week before the vote, even brought the campaign
to a brief halt.