Hate crime in Kent up 60% immediately after EU Referendum
PUBLISHED: 08:16 15 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:19 15 February 2017
Kent Police logged 277 offences between July and September last year - the highest quarterly figure since comparable records began in April 2012
Hate crime offences in Kent increased dramatically immediately after the EU Referendum, figures show.
According to new data by the Press Association, Kent Police logged 277 offences between July and September last year - a rise of 60 per cent from the number between April and June, and the highest quarterly figure since comparable records began in April 2012.
Gurvinder Sandher, who chairs the Kent Police Independent Advisory Group, acts as vice chair of the Kent Police and Crime Panel and stood as an independent in last year’s police and crime commissioner election admitted he was concerned by the figures.
“I have been working closely with Kent Police through my different roles to understand the situation here in Kent relating to hate crime,” he told us.
“This increase in racially motivated hate crime is a concern but I am aware that the trend in recent weeks has been downwards and I hope that this will continue.
“I know the proactive work Kent Police and partners have been doing to provide reassurance to communities and also to encourage reporting.
“It is important that all incidents are reported and I would expect Kent Police to continue to monitor and be proactive to support not just victims of hate crime but all crime in Kent.
“We should be proud of our positive community relations across the county and all communities regardless of ethnicity and faith should be working together to ensure a minority do not spoil it for the overwhelming majority.”
Superintendent Simon Thompson said: “Kent Police takes hate crime seriously, whether it is religious, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, transgender or disability based hate crime we will listen and take appropriate action.
“Hate crimes and incidents can take on various forms such as verbal abuse, physical assault, domestic abuse, harassment, bullying and damage to property and we remain committed to stamping out all crime motivated by hate and prejudice.
“There is a greater awareness amongst the public of hate crime which in turn gives confidence to those who wish to report it.
“Victims and the public should have confidence that we will handle reports of hate crime sensitively and in the most appropriate way possible.
“Our message is simple, have the trust and confidence to report hate crimes and incidents to the police - you will always be dealt with professionally and empathetically.
“Hate crimes and hate incidents are hurtful and can be very threatening.
“By reporting them when they happen to you, you may also be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else.”
The Home Office said Britain had some of the strongest legislation on hate crime anywhere in the world.
“The home secretary has been crystal clear that crime motivated by hostility and prejudice towards any group in society has no place whatsoever in a Britain that works for everyone,” a spokesman said.