Xenophobic Attacks Rise In UK as Brexit Approaches

The latest data shows that the xenophobic attacks are still on the rise in UK and the increase of attacks is the biggest since the annual reports began in 2011/12, even though the whole year has passed after the Brexit was announced.

 

Attacks, both racist and homophobic, increased by 27%, while religious hate crime rose by 35%. The rise is highly related to UK’s vote to leave the European Union, as more than a hundred incidents of racial abuse and hate crime have been reported since then.

 

Police recorded 80,393 offences in UK in 2016/2017 and a total of 62,685 – 78% – of the crimes in 2016/17 were race hate crimes, the Home Office figures show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The peak came of 2016/17 in July 2016 – the month after the Brexit referendum, when the number of offences reported was 44% higher than the previous July.

 

“The Brexit referendum seems to have led to a further rise in ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment,” said Christian Ahlund, chair of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.

 

“Personally I think the Leave campaign gave a new, acceptable way to express xenophobia,” said Dr Golec de Zavala, senior Lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London.

 

The issue has been widely addressed across the country and most of the very well-known people have tried to speak about that. For example, Jeremy Corbyn, who was recently visiting Coventry University, said: “It was alarming that after the Brexit vote there was a clear rise in xenophobic and racist attacks on our streets”.

 

(To listen for full Jeremy Corbyn speech at Coventry University, please follow the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3CMF4X-h94)

 

However, has these kinds of talks changed something? Some recent activities prove that nothing major has changed. In contrary, some activities – such as Theresa’s May vans “Go home” – just triggered the racism even more.

 

People have been tweeting their recent #racism stories and anger online since the beginning of Brexit, but the rise in numbers of xenophobic attacks just shows that they have not been heard yet.

 

Interviews with those affected coming up soon

 

Balsyte Berta

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