Record number of hate crimes recorded in Norfolk after Brexit vote

Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before a select committee at Parliament this morning

Hate crimes on Merseyside reached record levels in the aftermath of the European Union referendum.

A human rights organisation has said the country should prepare for the possibility of further spikes in offences once the Brexit process has begun.

"We are continuously monitoring the reporting of hate crime and have a very robust method for recording and understanding the issue".

However, police chiefs have warned that it was impossible to determine how many of these recorded incidents were linked to last summer's referendum.

New figures showed that in some places hate crime spiked by more than 50 percent in the three months following the vote to leave the EU.

Regarding the recent findings, Mr Lane said he considers any form of hate crime as "unacceptable".

A total of 134 offences were recorded as hate crimes between July and September 2016 in Wiltshire, up nearly two fifths (38 per cent) on the previous quarter.

"Had the campaign been conducted in a different manner, I don't think we would have seen that explosion in hate crime".

Chairman David Isaac said: "The vast majority of people who voted to leave the European Union did so because they believed it was best for Britain and not because they are intolerant of others". We can not allow such intolerable acts of hate to be condoned or repeated.

'The triggering of Article 50 is the next major milestone and we must do all we can to discourage hate attacks and to support people who feel at risk'.

"Of course there will be individual instances and people should never be victims of hate crime at all".

The newly revealed figures come just weeks after 11 Hampshire organisations were awarded £30,000 to help tackle hate crime.

These categories are defined by statute, and have been used to compile the figures listed above, based on police force open data.

Speaking to a select committee at Parliament, Bush said there were anecdotal reports that such offences were on the rise, though it was hard to measure because police did not keep records of this type of offending.

Lucy Hastings, director at Victim Support, revealed the charity previous year supported 16,000 victims of hate crime in England and Wales and confirmed a spike in referrals in the immediate aftermath of the referendum. "Behaviour of this nature has no place in our society".

Speaking to media at Parliament after a select committee appearance, Bush said he was concerned about a rise in reports of hate crimes around the country.

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