Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Race Hate Crime Soars Post-Brexit

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Race Hate Crime Soars Post-Brexit

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE KELLY and PA Reporter mike.kelly@ncjmedia.co.uk @MIKEJKELLY1962

RACE hate crime in the North East has reached record levels post-Brexit, a new report has revealed.

In the Northumbria force area there were 398 incidents in the July to September period, up 48% on the three-month period in the run up to the EU referendum vote on June 23.

The 48% figure represents the highest hate crime increase in the region in a quarterly period since comparable records began in April 2012.

And Northumbria saw the 11th largest rise in the 44 police forces areas in England and Wales.

Commenting on the figures, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC said: "These figures reflect the national peak in reported hate crime in the months around Brexit - thankfully in Northumbria this didn't last and recent figures show a return to levels only a fraction worse than this time last year.

"That said, hate crime should not be happening at all, but unfortunately it does.

"It's therefore very important that we make sure those targeted have the confidence to come forward and report it. Our officers proactively encourage this and reach out to minority groups to build relationships and allow for concerns to be raised.

"Victims can take reassurance from the fact that our force is ranked first nationally for hate crime victim satisfaction. I hope this encourages anyone who is subjected to any form of prejudice or discrimination to speak out.

"Hate crime will not be tolerated in Northumbria and those responsible will be fiercely prosecuted." In the Durham Constabulary area there were 66 race hates crimes reported, up 16% on the pre-Brexit figure.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: "Compared to 2015/16 we have seen a slight rise in both reported hate incidents and crime, but these are still very low and we suspect there are significant levels of under- reporting.

"We would actively encourage anyone who feels they have been a victim of hate crime to report it to the police by calling 101 so we can help them. …

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