Reports of hate crime down since post-Brexit vote surge

Hate crime reports have dipped from the surging levels seen after the EU referendum - but remain higher than last year, figures show.

Police forces were asked to provide data on a weekly basis after a flurry of incidents following the vote in June. 

At the peak, the statistics showed a 58% rise in reporting of alleged offences compared with 2015.

The National Police Chiefs' Council said this has since subsided and there have been four consecutive weeks of reductions.

Figures provided by forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland show police logged 2,778 hate crimes and incidents from August 5 to 18. 

This was a fall of 479 on the previous fortnight, but a 14% increase on the equivalent period last year.

NPCC lead for hate crime Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: "We have seen continued decreases in reports of hate crimes to forces and these reports have now returned to formerly seen levels for 2016.

"For this reason we will return to our previous reporting procedures and will no longer be requiring weekly updates from forces.

"This doesn't mean that hate crime is no longer a priority. We know that divisions still exist in our society and that tensions could rise again.

"Police forces will continue with their robust response and we will react swiftly to any future signs of tension.

"I am aware that hate crime is still an under-reported crime but we believe that greater awareness and confidence in the police response has contributed to increases in reporting in comparison to last year.

"Nobody should suffer in silence and we would urge victims and those feeling vulnerable to come forward.

"The police service has no tolerance for this type of abuse and need to be made aware that these crimes are taking place so that we can investigate."

The Government launched a new action plan to tackle hate crime in July. 

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