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Friday, 26 May 2017

In numbers: Has Britain really become more racist?

Hate crime rose sharply after the EU referendum, according to police figures. But is heightened racial tension here to stay?
"Why are you still here?" a customer asked Lithuanian-born Alma Milaseviciute, 31, as she stood at the counter of the cheese shop where she works in Ludlow, Shropshire. "Good luck on your way back," another sneered.
"Get out of my country," yelled a man at Esmat Jeraj, 26, after swearing at her. He'd spotted her wearing a hijab as she walked to work in Whitechapel, east London. Jeraj was born and raised in the UK.
"You speak English, don't you?", a woman in her 60s asked Brazilian-born Danilo Venticinque, 30, at a Southampton bus stop when she overheard him talking to his Mexican wife in Spanish. "Can you understand what I'm saying? This is our country. We are leaving the EU. We will stop having so many people like you over here."
Each of these incidents took place since the referendum on European Union membership. All three victims are at pains to acknowledge the perpetrators represent a minority of Britons and that most people in the UK would be horrified by this behaviour. Prominent Leave campaigners have also strongly condemned abusive and bigoted behaviour of this kind.
But there's clear evidence that there's been a spike in hate crime since the 23 June ballot. Reported hate crime rose by 57% in the four days after the referendum, police say.
There were more than 6,000 reports of hate crime to police between mid-June and mid-July, according to the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC).
Cards containing the words "No more Polish Vermin" were distributed in Huntingdon. In Plymouth, a Polish family were the victims of what police believe was a racially-motivated arson attack. Racist graffiti was scrawled on a Polish centre in west London.
Source By BBC.COM


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