BRITAIN’S biggest police force has made 400 arrests for suspected hate crimes since the EU referendum result “unleashed something in people”, a Scotland Yard chief has said.
Scotland Yard Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey said: “We’ve seen an increase in both reporting of incidents and hate crime. Overall hate crime rises, some rise in both anti-Semitic and Islamic hate crime. All of these are intolerable acts.
“It does appear that post the referendum it unleashed something in people where they felt able to do things that, let’s be really clear, are illegal. And we will take action where they do it and when those incidents occur.”
There has been a rise in racist and religious hate crime in London, targeted mainly at members of black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
Mr Mackey told the Police and Crime Committee at London’s City Hall that before the referendum on June 23, the force dealt with 25 to 50 offences per day.
Since June 24 when the result was announced, the force has seen 57 to 78 offences per day.
They were mainly verbal abuse, harassment and criminal damage, Mr Mackey said, but there have been some “higher level” assaults as serious as grievous bodily harm.
Earlier this month the National Police Chiefs’ Council revealed that there were 289 alleged offences across England, Wales and Northern Ireland on June 25 - equivalent to 12 every hour.
More than 3,000 hate crimes and incidents were reported to forces around the country in the second half of June - a rise of 42% compared with the same period last year.