Met Police received 232 hate crime reports in days after EU vote


Scotland Yard received more than 200 hate crime reports in the days after the EU referendum.

Britain's largest force logged 232 allegations from Friday June 24 to Tuesday June 28.

Of these, eight were targeted against Polish or other European communities, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said, while 23 are considered to be related to the referendum "in as much as" it was "directly referenced or alluded to" during the alleged offence.

On average the force receives between 20 and 50 reports of hate crime a day. This increased to 62 on Sunday June 26 - two days after the result was announced - and then 64 last Tuesday.

In a letter to Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, Sir Bernard stressed the Met takes hate crime "extremely seriously".

He said that on Sunday June 26 they decided to move their policing approach from a "monitoring position" to a "proactive pan-London policing operation".

Patrol plans were adjusted to deliver a visible presence in areas considered most affected.

A flurry of reports to police around the country and on social media sparked fears of a wave of xenophobic and racial abuse in the wake of the referendum.

In the latest incident to emerge, Avon and Somerset Police appealed for witnesses after a Polish man suffered "significant injuries" following a racially aggravated assault by two men on the day the referendum result was announced.

The victim, in his thirties, was walking along St Michael's Avenue in Yeovil, Somerset, at about 6pm on June 24.

Two men approached him and asked if he spoke English, before repeatedly punching and kicking him. The attack continued as he lay on the floor.

He required hospital treatment for a potentially life-changing eye injury, a fractured cheekbone and substantial bruising to his body. The incident was not reported to the force until June 27.

Numbers of hate crime incidents in the Avon and Somerset Police force area have more than doubled since the EU referendum.

Last week it was revealed that hate crime incidents reported to a national police portal were five times the typical weekly level.

A total of 331 incidents were reported to the True Vision online site - equivalent to 47 each day - from June 23 to 29. The tally, disclosed by the National Police Chiefs' Council, compared with a weekly average of 63 reports.

Last week David Cameron announced that extra cash for security measures will be available, while a new action plan on the issue will be published.

An official report published last year said there were an estimated 222,000 hate crimes on average per year in England and Wales. The most commonly reported motivating factor was race.