A UK police force has confirmed reported “hate crimes” are down on this time last year, despite including alleged ‘crimes’ committed by Nigel Farage in the stats.
Essex police said that although slightly more perceived “hate crimes” were reported the week after the referendum, compared to the week before, they were significantly down on last year and there was no evidence linking them to Brexit.
“We have some evidence of a recent increase in reporting of alleged hate crimes, but there is no evidence to suggest that any increase is uniquely related to the referendum itself.
“At the same time last year we had more reports of hate crimes than the immediate post-referendum period this year,” a police spokesman told the Thurrock Gazette.
Last week, Assistant Chief Constable Maurice Mason told a council meeting in Thurrock, that:
“Some members of the public complaining about Nigel Farage, or whatever, that will get recorded as a hate crime no matter what it is. If the person feels it’s a hate crime it will get recorded as a hate crime.”
The fact that complaints against the UKIP leader, which are likely to be politically motivated, were included further demonstrates how subjective and unreliable claims of a post-Brexit “hate crime epidemic” could be.
Despite the police’s explanation, the media has continued to push this alarmist line.
Last night, Channel 4 ran a programme called “Racist Britain” which “investigat[ed] the rising tide of racism in post-Brexit Britain, revealing the scale of the abuse…” The BBC is now thought to be producing a film along similar lines.
The BBC has already run a story titled: “’Go back home’ — Bitter backlash post EU referendum”, as well as one claiming a Muslim holiday had been cancelled “because of rising fears of hate crimes following Brexit”.
Most of the stories were generated by the “Worrying Signs” Facebook group, which was set up by pro-EU activists, and encourages people to report anecdotal stories to the media and police which can be used to portray leaving the EU as racist.
“We strongly urge you to report any incidents you witness to the police and to report any inflammatory posts on social media so they can be flagged and dealt with” the page urges its 19,000 members, before linking to the police’s “Stop Hate Crime” reporting page.
It takes just minutes to report a “hate crime” online. The massive social media push may, therefore, be responsible for the increase in the number of people reporting “hate crimes” – some of which may also be politically motivated.