Lincolnshire has ‘thankfully’ not experienced an increase in reported hate crime like elsewhere in the country, according to police – despite having some of the highest leave voting areas.
The National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) said on Monday that there had been a 57 per cent increase in reporting to the police online hate crime site True Vision since Friday compared to the same time last month.
It equated to 85 reports between Thursday–Sunday, June 23-26, compared with 54 reports the corresponding four days four weeks ago.
Since the vote, there appears to have been a spike nationally in anti-immigrant incidents elsewhere in the country including a graffiti attack on Polish cultural centre and cards demanding ‘no more Polish vermin’ posted through letterboxes.
Social media has also seen a series of videos and photographs documenting racist and anti-immigrant abuse nationally leading to Campaigners taking on racists with a simple safety pin.
However, Inspector Andy Morrice, told the paper that ‘Lincolnshire has thankfully not experienced any increase in the type of incidents reported elsewhere in the country’.
This comes despite results such as those in Boston where the leave camp gained 75.6 per cent of the vote and South Holland where it gained 73.6 per cent.
Insp Morrice added: “I am aware that there are many concerns and uncertainties within our communities after the recent referendum result, and the decision made by the British public to exit the EU.”
He reassured residents that: “Hate crime, is, and will remain a priority, and will not be tolerated.
“If anyone believes they are subject to a hate crime or incident, we would encourage them to report it to the police, and it will be robustly investigated.”
In a statement on Monday the NPCC’s lead for hate crime Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: “Police forces are working closely with their communities to maintain unity and tolerance and prevent any hate crime or abuse following the EU referendum. At the national level, the vast majority of people are continuing to go about their lives in safety and security and there have been no major spikes in tensions reported.
“However, we are seeing an increase in reports of hate crime incidents to True Vision, the police online hate crime reporting site. This is similar to the trends following other major national or international events. In previous instances, crime levels returned to normal relatively quickly but we are monitoring the situation closely.
“All forms of hate crime are unacceptable in any circumstances. Hatred not only has the potential to cause serious physical and emotional harm, it damages communities and undermines the diversity and tolerance we should be instead celebrating. Police forces will respond robustly to any incidents and offenders can expect to receive enhanced sentencing.”
Incidents can be reported People can contact the Police by telephone on 101, or by attending the Police station. We do have a number of volunteers who can assist with any language difficulties”.