Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Police Pledge Hate Crime Crackdown; INCREASE IN CRIMES SINCE BRITAIN VOTED TO LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Police Pledge Hate Crime Crackdown; INCREASE IN CRIMES SINCE BRITAIN VOTED TO LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION

Article excerpt

Byline: CRAIG THOMPSON Content Editor craig.thompson@trinitymirror.com

HATE crimes have increased in the wake of Britain's Brexit vote, according to figures.

"Refugees are rats who should be shot at the border" and "stop immigration, start repatriation" are just two of the comments recorded in Newcastle following the vote.

While in County Durham, an international student was punched by a drunken man and asked "What are you doing here? Go back to your own country".

A picture of region-wide racist incidents has emerged from accounts collected by the social media sites POSTREFRACISM, Worrying Signs and iStreetWatch.

The disturbing trend comes as figures show the number of hate crimes reported to police in the North East in the week following the EU referendum rose.

There were 53 hate crimes reported to Northumbria and Durham police forces in the week of June 24 to June 30, up from 49 in the seven days before.

During the week following the referendum, there were 42 crimes reported in Northumbria, up from 39, and 11 in Durham, up from 10.

The number was much higher than the 27 crimes reported in the same week in 2015.

The most common type of hate complained of was racial, with 34 incidents in Northumbria and nine in Durham.

The figures obtained following a Freedom of Information request are provisional as numbers may change if more victims come forward or following investigations of incidents.

Just a few days after the vote, a ring of police tried to keep the peace in Newcastle city centre as a tense stand-off took place between people demanding rights for refugees and members of the right wing English Defence League.

Northumbria Police say they will not tolerate any type of racist incident and are ready to take action against any offenders.

Assistant chief superintendent David Felton said: "Any crime that targets someone because of who they are is completely unacceptable and something we will not tolerate in our communities. …

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