UK: Number of attacks on East European and Muslim immigrants grows by 42 % since the referendum
The number of hate attacks against immigrants in Britain has increased 42 % since the June referendum in which British voters expressed their desire for their country to leave the European Union. The statistics were reported on 8 July by the British police.
In recent weeks a total of 3 076 such incidents were recorded by police. "We now have clear knowledge of an increase in the number of hate attacks in he country and their sharp growth in recent weeks. This is unacceptable," police spokesperson Mark Hamilton was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Hamilton said such attacks undermine tolerance in society. British voters cast their ballots for the country to leave the EU on 23 June.
The decision was taken after a sharply-waged campaign in which immigration was one of the main topics. Some advocates of so-called Brexit, according to commentators, stirred up racism and xenophobia.
Those advocates asserted that leaving the EU-28 would make it possible for Britain to stop the arrival of immigrants who many Britons believe are taking away jobs from citizens and abusing social welfare. Reuters reports that citizens from Eastern Europe and Muslims are particular targets of the post-referendum incidents.
Police clarified on 8 July that most of the displays of hatred are comprised of various forms of assault, harassment, and verbal attacks. Shoving matches and spitting have also been reported.
During the late night hours of Wednesday unidentified perpetrators set a shed on fire near the home of a Polish family in the town of Plymouth in southwestern England. They also sent the family a letter threatening to attack them directly next time.
Police are investigating the case as one of racially motivated violence. According to the BBC, the victimized family has been grappling with such threats ever since the June referendum.
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