Stop Hate UK Response – Release of Police Hate Crime Figures – Post Brexit Vote, July to September 2016

Statement from Stop Hate UK on Hate Crime figures post Brexit vote

As you may have seen featuring heavily in the news, the majority of police forces in England and Wales have reported record levels of Hate Crimes reported to them, in the 3 months directly after the EU referendum, with more than 14,000 Hate Crimes being reported and 10 forces reported more than a 50% increase on the previous 3 months.

Whilst the figures are alarming and saddening, in equal measures, Stop Hate UK is not entirely surprised by them.

During the same period, as part of our day-to-day work to support those affected by Hate Crime, we saw first hand what was happening all across the UK, between July and September. In the 3 weeks directly after the referendum result, our own statistics saw a 60% increase in incidents reported to us, via our reporting channels.

Across the quarter, which covers the same 3 months as the police figures, Stop Hate UK recorded an increase of 32% in reported incidents overall and, whilst motivations of disability and gender identity were comparatively static, incidents motivated by race saw a 55% increase and those motivated by religion an 80% increase.

Stop Hate UK welcomes the release of these figures into the public domain, as it does now put into direct context the impact of the ‘Brexit’ campaign and it’s undeniable effect upon incidences of Hate Crime in the UK, which was doubted and even dismissed by certain sections of the media and across the political spectrum.

To find out more about Stop Hate UK and our work, visit www.stophateuk.org or email info@stophateuk.org

My Month at Stop Hate UK, Brexit, Pride and Rejection.

I started my month’s placement with some expectation of the charity world, with experience from Oxfam and local community centres, I thought I knew what to expect. But Stop Hate UK seems a unique charity, small in size but big in support. 

What struck me most was the resilience of the staff, day in day out – through their 24-hour helpline they are faced with hard hitting, often heartbreaking stories from those in need of a friendly ear and informed advice. 

After Brexit, it was more difficult for me to stay optimistic about universalism and societal acceptance, but Stop Hate UK was continuing to lead the way to an open dialogue between the people experiencing discrimination directly, and the Police. The importance of reporting Hate Crime became very obvious, very quickly. By reporting, and recording Hate Crime, it is the only way that the Police services and other protectionary bodies can be aware of what is going on a grass roots level which shapes action and prevention.

Despite the sense of national tension and uncertainty at the time, the office was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity from individuals and organisations standing up against racism and discrimination of all kinds. With the sale of T-Shirts, proclaiming: ‘You are welcome here!’ with proceeds, sponsored walk, sky-dives, people had united to say ‘Yes’ to Brexit but ‘NO!’ to racism. 

Throughout my placement I worked on various aspects, which I appreciate Stop Hate UK trusting me with, from creating a Fundraising Pack to applying for a grant for Leeds Pride 2016. I proposed a project for Leeds Pride, with an artistic twist aimed at increasing the Stop Hate UK’s publicity through a Facebook campaign. 

However, the effectiveness of the Social Media platform is nothing new to Stop Hate UK, as avid networkers and tweeters, with hashtags flying everywhere, I felt like a novice in the field in comparison. I even witnessed the preparations of a collaboration with Twitter, (YES TWITTER!) for an anti-hate speech online campaign. This was cutting edge stuff!

Unfortunately, my Leeds Pride Grant application was unsuccessful. Even though I had true belief and passion for the proposed project, sometimes, or even often, you will not get the funding you want and believe you should. That is the real world. Much like Brexit, big decisions can be out of your hands.

However, in terms of Hate Crime, if you are being abused and discriminated against, you should know that Stop Hate UK is here to back you up and will endeavour to ensure you feel safe and in control. 

I would like to thank Stop Hate UK, an organisation made up of amazing individuals for teaching so much and really inspiring me for the future! 

Joselene

Hate Crime incidents soar in wake of Brexit vote

New Home Office figures have just been released and show that the number of hate crimes leapt by 41% in the month after the vote to leave the European Union.

The data, collated from 31 police forces showed that in the two weeks prior to the referendum, including the day of the referendum itself (23rd June), they recorded 1,546 racially or religiously aggravated offences.

Hate Crime Increases After Brexit Vote

In the fortnight immediately after the vote to leave the UE, the number had climbed to 2,241. There was also an increase in racially and religiously aggravated offences recorded in June, followed by an even sharper rise in July 2016.

And, although Levels of hate crime and racist incidents have since declined but remain significantly higher than last year. Overall there were 52,465 incidents of hate crime in the year ending March 2016, an increase of 19% on the previous year.

Stop Hate UK is not surprised by today’s official figures, as it confirms what we ourselves had been seeing and hearing across our reporting platforms. However, we feel that people need to be aware of the true facts and statistics, so that more incidents of Hate Crime are reported to the police or to organisations like Stop Hate UK.

You can read more by looking at the articles from The Independent.” and ‘The Guardian’.

Stop Hate UK – Report on post-referendum Hate Crime

We are now 2 months on from the UK’s decision to leave the EU and we can now reveal the true extent of the impact that decision had, on incidences of Hate Crime, in the four weeks directly after ‘Brexit’.

Using statistics from our own Helpline, we saw an increase in call volume of 61% in the 4 weeks directly after the referendum result was known – compared to the 4 weeks prior to the vote – which is a staggering increase, resulting in the charity making a 40% increase in referrals to the police.

Although our report shows several motivations for the reported incidents, those motivated by race showed the biggest increase, followed by reports that were motivated by disability.

In line with the above, the biggest increases in the types of reported incidences were the use of offensive language, threatening behaviour and/or verbal abuse, as if the result of the vote gave certain individuals the right to air their wholly unacceptable views and that, somehow, these ‘views’ were vindicated by the leave result.

Also, the increase in reports of racially motivated Hate Crime is broadly reflected in the victim ethnicity statistics, with the largest increase in reports coming those of White European ethnicity, followed by White British.

Stop Hate UK’s report also contains case studies of some of the reports to our Helpline, to give the reader some context as to the terrible abuse that people have suffered, as a direct result of the referendum vote.

Whilst we are saddened by the findings in our report, we wanted to publish our findings to highlight the fact that Hate Crime is still an unwanted undercurrent running through certain parts of the UK’s society and that the recent referendum seemed, somehow, to make certain people think they could use it as a vehicle to commit acts of Hate Crime.

No one should have to suffer abuse, hostility, discrimination or any other kind of Hate Crime based on any aspect of their identity.

To view our post referendum report in full click here.

Any enquiries regarding Stop Hate UK’s post referendum report should be sent to info@stophateuk.org

Infographic Highlights Post Referendum Racism Report

Further to the report by the social media sites PostRefRacism, Worrying Signs and iStreetWatch, on post referendum racism that we published on our website and social media recently – they’ve now neatly summarised the key findings into an infographic.

You can see the infographic key findings by clicking here or if you missed their full report, you can read it by clicking here.

As we have already stated, Stop Hate UK welcomes the release of this report. Remember, we’ll shortly be issuing our own report, based on our Helpline statistics, pre and post ‘Brexit’, so be sure to check back soon to see it!

By presenting a united stance of zero tolerance towards any kind of Hate Crime, organisations like ourselves and the sites mentioned above, together with your support, can really make a difference in helping all those affected by Hate Crime.

New report shows extent of post referendum racism

The following report has been collected and collated by the social media sites PostRefRacism, Worrying Signs and iStreetWatch and, sadly, shows a similar picture was seen right across the UK, in terms of incidents of post referendum racism.

The reports describe gangs prowling the streets demanding passers-by prove they can speak English, offensive messages and symbols being drawn on house doors and many verbal assaults.

Worryingly, other incidents include toddlers being racially abused alongside their mothers, and children involved in both as perpetrators and the targets of the abuse.

You can view the full report by clicking here.

Stop Hate UK welcomes the release of this report and we’ll also shortly be issuing a report, based on our own Helpline statistics, pre and post ‘Brexit’.

By presenting a united stance of zero tolerance towards any kind of Hate Crime, organisations like ourselves and the sites mentioned above can really make a difference in helping all those affected by Hate Crime.

Response to Government Hate Crime Action Plan

At the time of writing, we have just witnessed yet more atrocities across France and Germany and, yet again, words fail us as to why these senseless, cowardly acts keep on happening and our thoughts and condolences go out to all the people involved and affected.

On the same day, the British Government reaffirmed its pledge to tackling Hate Crime in the UK, with newly appointed Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, announcing the Government’s Action Plan on Hate Crime.

Stop Hate UK welcomes this plan and is pleased to see the Government moving to recognise the seriousness of such crimes and why there has to be a zero tolerance approach to any form of Hate Crime.

No one should want to live in a society filled with hate and it should not be commonplace, in today’s world, to simply accept these horrendous acts as ‘part of life’. Hate crime, in any form, is not welcome here and we must stand together to tackle it and rid our society of such harrowing incidents.

Obviously, the recent increases in reported incidents of Hate Crime (since the referendum result) are deeply saddening and has felt like a real backwards step for the UK as a whole, in its attempts to stamp out Hate Crime; but let’s not kid ourselves. Racism, hate, intolerance – call it what you will – is still an odious undercurrent in the UK and, for some, the referendum result was merely a vehicle to jump on the back of and vent draconian views, like they suddenly had a right to do, which, of course, they did not.

It is the Government’s duty to spearhead the campaign against hate, working with organisations, like Stop Hate UK, to set out a clear message of zero tolerance, so we are pleased to see the Action Plan’s pledge of help where it is needed, particularly the promise of new training and advice for schools and journalists, improving victims’ support and creating a database of racist symbols so police can recognise them.

As an organisation that provides 24-hour support to anyone affected by Hate Crime, we are here for anyone who is targeted or is a witness to Hate Crime. Therefore, we want to see a more robust, consistent and accessible approach across the UK to independent reporting services. We hope that this focus on Hate Crime will lead towards this and, also, an understanding that to stop Hate Crime we need to ensure that we are all able to get support when we need it.

Over the next few days, Stop Hate UK will be publishing its own report, based on our Helpline statistics, comparing the 4 weeks prior to the referendum, to the 4 weeks directly after and we expect this to reaffirm the need for everyone to present a united stance on Hate Crime.

The message is clear – Hate Crime has no place in today’s society and no place at the table. No one should live in fear because of their disability, faith, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, age, alternative sub-culture, or any other part of their identity.

Brexit – Almost 2 weeks on, what do we now know?

June 23rd 2016 is indelibly etched in the UK’s political history, yet now, almost 2 weeks on from ‘Brexit’, we’re still not really any further informed as to what course the good ship UK will traverse through the choppy waters that lie ahead.

As a charity set up to tackle Hate Crime, we’ve seen first hand the ugly fallout from the referendum and some of the reports we’ve had, in the last 10 days or so, have been nothing short of shocking and it feels a little bit like, after Brexit, the UK has regressed about 20 years in its fight to tackle hate, discrimination, harassment and prejudice.

It’s important to note, however, that we must recognise that ‘Leave’ voters are not now all racist and, similarly, ‘remain’ voters are not now all ageist – something that certain groups and areas of the media seem to be trying to imply and sensationalise.
Hate Crime is a massively underreported crime and I also want to stress that point right now too. However, calls to our Helpline, which can include specific reports of Hate Crime or calls from people affected or touched by the issues, looking for help, support and advice remain high.

This last weekend (Friday 1st July to Sunday 3rd July) saw around double the normal levels we would handle and, since the vote result was known, the volume of calls to our Helpline is up around 4 times the volume of an average similar period.

Obviously, it is what we are here to do, but it’s not a statistic we are particularly happy or proud to report and, like the recent comments and pledges from David Cameron, we too condemn all forms of hate and welcome the pledge of a new action plan from the Government.

One thing that has happened, which we are pleased to report, is that we are seeing increased numbers of people coming forward to show support for the various charities and organisations set up to tackle these issues and there’s a real sense of the public and various organisations coming together to present a united stance on Hate Crime.

I’d like to go on record to say we’ve witnessed this first hand and to personally thank all the people that have sent messages of support to Stop Hate UK, via calls, emails and social media. Your support, in any form, is much appreciated.

Our message remains constant, throughout the turmoil of the last week or two – when it comes to Hate Crime, please REPORT IT. Don’t think twice to do it or try to rationalise actions that are wholly unacceptable.

Whilst the protracted affairs take place in Westminster, we want to see our existing and prospective leaders try and calm the country down and set peoples’ minds at rest. Not least, the groups of non-British people and those perceived to be non-British, seeking reassurance that being forced out of the UK is absolute nonsense and diatribe of the worst order.

What we need to do now, most of all, is to address the concerns and fears of ALL groups, British or otherwise and make community cohesion and safety our united goal.

Let’s hope the next two weeks sees a sense of clarity and calmness descend into society, but I rather think there could be more storm before the calm.

Stop Hate UK Statement – The rise of Hate Crime incidences after Brexit

Last Thursday’s referendum vote marked an historic day, in terms of the UK’s political landscape – it was always going to, whatever the outcome.

However, I am now certain that, with the dust still far from settling, no one really anticipated what this particular outcome really meant for the UK, in terms of repercussions and ramifications upon society as a whole.

As the weekend has shown us, the turmoil is far-reaching, with claims, counter-claims, u-turns and a general feeling that, at present we are somewhat rudderless and those that need to be our inspirational rocks are left floundering.

Sadly but, perhaps, not surprisingly, the UK’s immigration issue was probably at the forefront of many voter’s minds, given the type of campaigns run by the two main groups involved in the weeks and months leading up to the vote. To an extent, this was probably inevitable, given that immigration is such a sensitive, emotive and divisive issue in current times.

However, since last week’s vote, we have seen some alarming stories, across social media and in the press, where some people who are perceived to be non-British, are being verbally abused and, in certain cases being shouted at in the street that it was time for them to ‘pack up and go home’ or some having leaflets pushed through their letterboxes echoing similar sentiments.

Even more alarming is that such abuse and hostility is also being directed towards schoolchildren in the classroom and playground – a place they should feel absolutely safe.

Obviously, this is wholly unacceptable and perpetrators should be brought to justice.

Stop Hate UK has also spent time, since the vote was known, talking to people who are representative of the people in question and it’s very sad to hear them talk about no longer feeling safe in the UK and feeling isolated, vulnerable and genuinely scared to be here.

The vote on Thursday should not be seen and used, as a vehicle to engender Hate. This country, helped by many agencies and charities, such as Stop Hate UK, has worked tirelessly, to try to stamp out Hate Crime, in all its many and complex forms and we feel very strongly that, somehow, certain segments of the public now feel that the Brexit vote means that wholly inappropriate views and offensive language can now be used freely and without consequence and provides an excuse for xenophobic attacks.

The reported events of the weekend are, of course, extremely worrying and we must act quickly to ensure that the message to anyone affected by this is one of reassurance, empathy and determination to allay any fears they might currently have.

Therefore, Stop Hate UK echoes the many calls, from the likes of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and other leading politicians and councillors, not to tolerate such incidences of Hate Crime and to report them immediately to the police, via the Stop Hate UK helpline 0800 138 1625 or other local Hate Crime service.

Rose Simkins

Chief Executive – Stop Hate UK