The rise in hate crimes is 'merely the tip of the iceberg', claims Councillor Claudia Webbe

The rise in hate crimes is 'merely the tip of the iceberg', says Councillor Claudia Webbe

Following the EU referendum result, hate crime reports have risen

Friday, July 1, 2016

Hate crime has increased fivefold since the EU referendum – and Councillor Claudia Webbe believes political campaigns have caused it.

331 incidents were submitted to the True Vision website between last Thursday and Wednesday. The normal average is 63 reports a week; the new number is the equivalent of 47 hate crimes a day.

Webbe, the Islington councillor, believes it's due to recent political campaigns.

“I think the rise that we’re seeing in terms of what had been reported to the police [is] merely the tip of the iceberg," she told Yasmeen Khan.

"I think we’ve had a toxic set of political campaigns, not just in terms of European campaign, but also in London we’ve had the the mayoral campaign with was intensely toxic, in terms of the racist connotations attached. I think that has fuelled a fire.

“For [the offenders], they believe they’ve got a right and been given a mandate, to express their prejudices and hate in a way which is damaging to the communities and families.”

The trustee of the Children's Society is calling for more to be done by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

“We no longer have a Commission for Racial Equality or bodies like that, we now have the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, which replaced all of those previous organisations. But I’ve heard very little from it.”

There has also been a campaign for people to show "solidarity" and wear safety pins to show people you won't offend those of other ethnicities.

"It is not surprising we are seeing community responses. We need interventions at all levels, public bodies have a responsibility. The media has a protect those that come to work, those that are delivering a service.

"Also in terms of responsible media, they must ensure that people are receiving the correct information the correct understanding of people of different backgrounds."

Webbe also believes many are still not reporting hate crimes against them.

“People aren’t reporting it, they’re not reporting everything that’s happening to them, they are suffering in silence.”

"This isn't about only one organisation responding here, the police can't do it alone, we have to have a multi-agency response," she added. "We have to provide awareness to those whose mindsets have been corrupted by what they are reading and seeing, we have a dark web."