Racially motivated incidents have surged in the city since the June 24 referendum, with the number of recorded hate crimes rising 50 percent, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, London’s Commissioner of Police, said Wednesday.
Hogan-Howe confirmed the shocking figures when he joined city officials, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, at a news conference encouraging residents not to shy away from reporting hate crimes.
“I’m afraid you can’t escape the link between the referendum and a surge in racial incidents,” Khan said.
The Metropolitan Police Service recorded 599 reports of race hate crimes in the United Kingdom’s capital between June 24th and July 2 alone ― the largest number since January 2014, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said at the conference.
The service usually handles somewhere between 20 and 50 reports of this kind per day. That number rose to 62 on June 26 and 64 the following Tuesday, the Guardian reported.
Khan said he’s concerned that those carrying out these acts believe the vote to exit the EU, commonly known as a “Brexit”, has stoked a nationalistic fervor that makes people feel entited to behave this way.
“I suffered race crime when I was younger, didn’t report it,” he added. “Please, please, please report this,”
Hogan-Howe assured that the Metropolitan Police care about this issue “from the top to the bottom.”
Racial and xenophobic incidents have targeted a variety of nationalities and ethnicities.
In southeast England, authorities first found leaflets saying “no more Polish vermin” last week. Graffiti demanding that Poles leave the United Kingdom was later discovered at a Polish cultural center in London.
A video that several news outlets obtained shows young men verbally attacking a man on a Manchester train last week.
“Get deported, you’re a muppet,” one person is heard screaming. “Get back to Africa.”