Verbal abuse, spitting and barging

The Guardian tells us:

Police recorded a 42% rise in complaints of hate incidents – numbering over 3,000 – in the weeks before and after the EU referendum, amid a heated national debate about immigration leading up to Britain’s decision to leave the union.

New figures released on Friday showed a large rise in reported incidents, averaging over 200 a day. Police said 3,076 hate crimes and incidents were reported to forces across the UK between 16-30 June; one week before and one week after the vote on 23 June.

Police chiefs said the rise amounted to a 42% increase in reporting week on week, and an increase of 915 reports compared to the same time last year. Privately some police chiefs fear the real figure could be higher, with past studies suggesting just one in four hate crimes are reported to police.

Also of course there could well be distortions in the reporting caused by Brexit, reporting on Brexit, reporting on post-Brexist racism, all that – people could be prompted to report things that they wouldn’t have otherwise. The reporting of incidents of X doesn’t equate precisely to the actual incidents of X. Reporting is just reporting, and it’s highly fallible.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for hate crime, assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, said:“We now have a clear indication of the increases in the reporting of hate crime nationally and can see that there has been a sharp rise in recent weeks. This is unacceptable and it undermines the diversity and tolerance we should instead be celebrating.

“Forces have been monitoring and managing hate crime more robustly since the attacks in Paris in 2015. We believe that greater awareness and confidence in the police response has contributed to this increase in reporting.”

Police said the main type of offence seen during the 16-30 June period was “violence against the person, which is primarily harassment, common assault and other violence (verbal abuse, spitting and ‘barging’)”.

The trajectory – it is not good.

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