The EU referendum result was most emphatically not a victory for bigotry. On the contrary it was a vote for a positive, democratic future – for the UK to be an outward looking, free trading, self governing nation. But some thought it was a licence for intolerance – some residents from other EU states feared it was, a handful of bigoted yobs hoped it was. The number was very small but highly unpleasant – including the notorious incident of obscene, racist graffiti on the Polish Centre in King Street.
Fortunately although there have been half a dozen incidents thought to be linked to the referendum Hannah Wheeler, Chief Inspector Partnership for the Hammersmith and Fulham Police reports overall here has not been an increase in Hate Crime locally:
“The DWO for the ward Pc Jenny Doe has very close links with the Polish centre and we also have a Polish MSC Sgt who supports them as well. Their security was reviewed last year from a Counter terrorism perspective and their staff were trained as well by Sgt Penman and I have also asked the Crime prevention design Advisor – Dave Hinton to attend and review again. In the latest incident the letter has been submitted for forensic examination and was posted from Sheffield – no reason and probably someone trolling following the recent media exposure of the centre.
Hate crime remains at the levels it was prior to the Referendum vote – we have had roughly 10 per week – of the 39 reported only 6 have a direct reference to the referendum and they were in the immediate days after the vote.
To give you a flavour of what the latest reports are
2 are homophobic – parties know to each other.
3 relate to drunk customers in shops being refused service and saying ‘ go back to your own country’ or words to that affect .
1 last night was an abusive male in the front office at Hammersmith that racially abused a police officer and was arrested.
We have a daily crime digest for the borough of MOPAC crimes and following the referendum I asked that all Hate crime was recorded daily on that digest as well so we are closely monitoring for any increase or change in severity however the latest reported hate crimes are of the same nature to those prior to the referendum.
I hope this allays any fears you may have? If you are aware of anecdotal reports of ‘talk’ about hate crime then please check whether it has been reported so we can accurately police all our hate crime.”