Political leaders in Britain have condemned an outpouring of racist abuse in the wake of the country's controversial vote to leave the European Union.
Outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday condemned as "despicable" a raft of xenophobic abuse directed at immigrants after last week's EU referendum.
"In the past few days we have seen despicable graffiti daubed on a Polish community centre, we've seen verbal abuse hurled against individuals because they are members of ethnic minorities," Cameron told parliament.
BBC News report today on rising tide of racism and hate Britons are facing after Brexit pic.twitter.com/V3Q3J4EN4h— Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) June 27, 2016
"Let's remember these people have come here and made a wonderful contribution to our country. We will not stand for hate crime or these kinds of attacks, they must be stamped out."
Britain voted 52 percent in favour of leaving the EU last week, a result that is continuing to be felt European financial markets, with Britain's credit rating being downgraded by ratings agency Fitch, from AAA to AA, while the pound plunged to a 31-year low against the U.S. dollar.
Polish ctr in my Hammersmith neighbrhd smeared w graffiti overnight. First attack in its 50 yr history. Depressing pic.twitter.com/1cfmQzMCEd— Zanny Minton Beddoes (@zannymb) June 26, 2016
England's shame: Secret filming shows racist chanting and abusive behaviour among some England fans.https://t.co/mmqou9ES1w— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) June 27, 2016
A woman shouted "There's one of them, send that back" as a Sri Lankan child walked past with his mum.— Ciaran Jenkins (@C4Ciaran) June 27, 2016
Various social media accounts have begun documenting #PostRefRacism, and police have reported a 57 percent month-on-month increase in the reporting of racist abuse through its True Vision mechanism.
Police say however the up-tick should not be read as a national increase in hate crimes.
Meanwhile Cambridgeshire police have met with members of the Polish community in the town of Huntingdon after offensive leaflets targeting them were passed around town.
Disgusting RT @fionaand: Older woman on the 134 bus gleefully telling a young Polish woman and her baby to get off and get packing.Horrific.— ChannyAmos (@Channy_Amos) June 25, 2016
Neo-nazi stickers have gone up all around the Clyde and Glasgow Green in the last few days. This breaks my heart. pic.twitter.com/qStnF6VDcE— Eoin (@Eeyinnotyouwin) June 26, 2016
BBC journalist Sima Kotecha has also reported being called a racially abusive term "not heard since the 80s," while the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has compiled social media incidents of racial abuse against ethnic minorities.
In utter shock: just been called p**i in my home town! Haven't heard that word here since the 80s..!— Sima Kotecha (@sima_kotecha) June 27, 2016
Here is "Lee", a fascist from Leeds who was interviewed on BBC News at 10. Says stopping immigration is "not racism" pic.twitter.com/bQqEN5yDRC— A revolting migrant (@KojoRTE) June 27, 2016
Conservative Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has warned of disturbing incidents of people being stopped in the street and saying 'look, we voted Leave, it's time for you to leave.'
"And they are saying this to individuals and families who have been here for three, four, five generations. The atmosphere on the street is not good," she said.
"This is what I said before the campaign -- that long after the political bus moves on we leave problems on our street."
Meanwhile an online petition calling for a second referendum has been signed by more than 3.5 million people.
The petition was reportedly started by a Leave campaigner who saidi t has been "hijacked" by unhappy Remain voters.
The petition calls for a second referendum on the issue if the result is less than decisive.