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Racial hate crimes on trains soar in UK after Brexit

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
British Transport Police (The Independent)

The number of suspected race hate crimes on Britain's railways sharply increased since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June, newly released figures show.

Two weeks after the Brexit vote on June 23, 119 incidents, including reported racist abuse and attacks at stations, were recorded, equivalent to eight every day, the British Transport Police (BTP) announced Sunday.

The number of alleged race hate offences in the fortnight following Brexit increased by 57 percent compared with the two weeks prior to the vote. Moreover, it represented a 78 percent hike on the equivalent period last year.

BTP polices Britain's railways as well as a number of urban networks such as London Underground.

The BTP report found that in one incident at a station, a suspect allegedly shouted at a victim who was speaking in Polish. There were also three alleged instances of racially or religiously aggravated bodily harm, including one in which the victim was "perceived to be attacked due to their nationality".

Last month, more than 6,000 alleged hate crimes and incidents were reported to police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from mid-June to mid-July. The volume of reports was around a third higher than the equivalent period last year.

The latest statistics reflect a persistent trend in reports of increased incidents of hate crimes in the aftermath of Brexit.

Earlier this month, an investigation by British newspaper, The Independent, further corroborated this pattern as it showed consistent doubling and tripling of hate crimes in Brexit stronghold areas in the UK.

Muslims living in Britain have also suffered an increase in hate crimes amid Brexit. According to statistics by Metropolitan Police, Muslims in London faced a 70-percent increase in Islamophobic attacks in one year.

In the June 23 referendum, about 52 percent of British voters opted to leave the EU, while roughly 48 percent of the people voted to stay. 

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