Data from police forces around the UK has revealed a surge in hate crime since June last year with a 44 percent increase reported on public transport.
While the greatest increase was seen in crimes based on religion and race, however, the trend was also reflected in crimes against members of the LGBT community and people with disabilities.
The sharpest increase was reported in the North East with a 109% rise and registered as an area with one the highest proportion of Brexit supporters with a 58 percent leave vote.
The data was revealed by a freedom of information request filed by the housing association Viridian who are calling for housing associations across the UK to take action and will be holding a national conference to discuss the issue.
“We were truly saddened to see that recorded incidents of hate crime around the referendum in June were higher than last year,” said Matt Campion, Director of Operations at Viridian. “Crimes committed simply because of who a person is have no place in our communities. Sadly, they are underreported. This is what makes us more determined to tackle this issue.”
This follows the publication of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Hate Crime Report 2016 which shows that 2015/2016 had the highest number of hate crime prosecutions ever.
Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions said: “My message is that a hate crime is exactly that – a crime – and will not be ignored,” adding that “the CPS has undertaken considerable steps to improve our prosecution of hate crime and we will continue this improvement.”
Viridian have announced plans to implement their ‘Red Card’ initiative where residents are provided a card with all the information needed to report incidences of hate crime.
“We would urge all housing associations to reach out to their residents about this issue. We all have a responsibility to help stop it from happening,” said Campion.