The number of suspected race hate crimes on Britain’s railways jumped sharply since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June, official figures released on Sunday showed.
In the fortnight after the Brexit poll on June 23, the British Transport Police (BTP) recorded 119 incidents, including allegations of racist abuse and attacks at railway stations — equivalent to eight every day.
The number of alleged race hate offences logged by the force between June 24 and July 7 amounts to a 57 per cent increase compared with the previous two weeks — and an even sharper rise of 78 per cent on the equivalent period in 2015.
“Hate crime is totally unacceptable and has no place in society or on the rail network. We are aware that hate crime is under-reported and so in order to tackle it effectively, we need the public to stand up to those committing these sickening acts and report it to us. We will take every report seriously” BTP superintendent chris Horton.
“We will always work tirelessly to ensure those who threaten or intimidate passengers are brought to justice,” he said.
BTP polices Britain’s railways as well as a number of urban networks, such as the London Underground.
BTP statistics for the two weeks after the referendum were obtained by the UK’s Press Association following a Freedom of Information request.
It follows reports in July that more than 6,000 alleged hate crimes and incidents were reported to the police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the four weeks from the middle of June.
There was a slight fall after an initial spike, but the volume of reports was still around a third higher than the equivalent period in 2015. British home secretary Amber Rudd ordered a review in July into the police handling of hate crimes after a sharp rise in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Ms Rudd announced that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) will analyse how forces in England and Wales respond to such crimes and will also look at how hate crime and abuse is handled in schools.