Hate crimes up in North East following Brexit vote
Hate crimes across the North East have rocketed in the wake of the EU Referendum vote, shock new figures show.
The information was revealed following a Freedom of Information request by housing association Viridian Housing.
The North East saw one of the biggest increase in recorded crimes, at 110%.
Cleveland Police recorded 67 hate crimes during June this year, up 103% from 33 during the same month in 2015.
In the Durham Police area, the number of hate crimes increased from 16 to 45, a rise of 181%.
Race-related reported incidents in the county also jumped to 34 from 13 in the same month last year.
Inspector Phil Morris from Communities and Partnerships at Cleveland Police said: “We are aware that there has been an increase in hate crime over recent months.
“This rise in incidents cannot be linked solely to the EU Referendum, at the moment we can only link three of the reports directly to this.
“Cleveland Police takes every report of hate crime extremely seriously.
“Hate crime is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“Anyone who feels they have been a victim of hate crime is encouraged to report it to police on 101 or alternatively online reports can be made anonymously at report-it.org.uk.”
Any crime that is motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity can be classed as a hate crime.
Between April and June, 43 hate incidents were recorded – up more than a quarter compared to the same period last year.
Community safety officials believe it is linked to the debate and decision to quit the European Union, and recent terror atrocities in countries such as France.
The UK voted in favour of leaving the European Union on June 22, something which is expected to formally take place in 2018.
Overall, recorded crime in Hartlepool is up 1.6% for the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2015.