Hate crime: Has Brexit vote made Britain more racist?

Hate crime: Has Brexit vote made Britain more racist?

The EU referendum has polarised opinions around the country

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has today announced hate-crime policing is to be reviewed, after figures revealed more than 6,000 reports of abuse and intimidation since mid-June - an increase of 20% on the same period last year.

The review will include incidents of hate crime in schools, as well as crimes against disabled people, with a £2.4 million fund being set up to help provide added security at places of worship. 

Equalities campaigner Akeela Ahmed has told talkRADIO that the EU-referendum result may have influenced the surge in reported hate crimes.

Ahmed, founder of the project She Speaks We Hear for Muslim women, said: "There was a very negative, anti-immigrant tone during the campaign by some people.

"There were other groups, like Britain First, like the EDL, who used that sentiment to really peddle their toxic and hateful views, and unfortunately there are some people who do subscribe to those views.

"Post-Brexit we have seen a significant minority of people who do hold racist views and have felt emboldened by the vote, for whatever reason, in expressing their racism more openly.

"But the everyday British person, who is respectful and kind, has also been emboldened to show more kindness and more love to one another." 

The director of communications for the Campaign Against Antisemitism, Jonathan Sacerdoti, explained why hate crime can have such a large impact.

"A hate crime has a dual affect," he said. "It doesn't just affect the person who's been attacked, say, physically, it affects the whole community who then live in fear of similar attacks taking place on them.

"We've got to, as a society, make it clear this isn't part of our Britishness."

Listen to the full interview to find out more

We've got to, as a society, make it clear this isn't part of our Britishness
Jonathan Sacerdoti, Campaign Against Antisemitism