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Police predict rise in hate crime as Brexit approaches

Police have said there could be a spike in hate crime as wrangles over Brexit continue before the UK’s planned departure from the EU in March.

The vote to leave the EU in June 2016 led to a large rise in hate incidents on the streets and online.

Supt Waheed Khan, Scotland Yard’s deputy head of hate crime, said: “If we look at what happened in the Brexit referendum then come March we would expect some kind of response at that time in the attacks that take place. We will do what we can to prevent an upturn.”

Figures released this week showed a 17% rise in hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales, to 94,098 in the 12 months to March. The annual total has grown by 123% since 2012–13. While better recording is a factor, Brexit as well as terrorist attacks in 2017 are thought to have contributed to the increase.

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