Reports of hate crimes in the UK up 57%

The rise in the number of alleged incidents comes in the wake of the EU referendum result

Reports of hate crimes in the UK up 57%

Stefan Rousseau / PA

The number of alleged hate crimes reported to a police website in the UK has risen by 57% following the EU referendum vote.

85 accounts of hate crimes were reported to 'True Vision' between Thursday and Sunday last week, compared to 54 reports over the same period four weeks ago.

Gwent Police have also confirmed it is investigating an incident directly linked with the referendum result, and police in Wiltshire said they are investigating a potentially racist attack on a Polish woman in Salisbury on Friday.

This afternoon, the Prime Minister told the UK parliament: "In the past few days, we have seen despicable graffiti smeared on a Polish community centre and heard verbal abuse shouted at individuals who are members of ethnic minorities.

"Let's remember that these people have come here and made a wonderful contribution to our country.

"We will not stand for hate crime or these kind of attacks, they must be stamped out."

Joanna Mludzinska, the chairwoman of the Polish community centre in West London that was daubed with graffiti, said: "It was very unpleasant. We removed the graffiti immediately but people have been very very shocked by it.

"We are an institution so it doesn't affect us personally but we have heard about incidents of people being targeted individually."

On Sunday, Former Conservative chairwoman Baroness Warsi told Sky News that race hate crime organisations were reporting some "disturbing early results".

There were reports of hate notes being posted through the doors of Polish residents in Cambridgeshire and scores of accounts of post-Brexit racism posted on social media.

South Wales-born Shazia Awan, a former Conservative parliamentary candidate, said she had been sent several hate messages over Twitter at the weekend telling her "go back to your own country".

The London mayor Sadiq Khan said he had asked Scotland Yard, Britain's largest force, to be "extra vigilant" for any rise in cases, and MPs of all parties used the parliamentary debate to call for more action against racism in response to the rise in the number of hate crimes.

Earlier, Leave campaigner Boris Johnson said he was "appalled" by reports of an increase in crimes of racism.

"Hate crime of any kind is inexcusable and must be met with the full force of the law. Britain is an open, tolerant and friendly society that welcomes people from across the globe," he said.

"That spirit of openness and diversity must never change and will never change. The actions of a bigoted minority will not be tolerated."

Members of the public have been taking to Twitter to report their own experiences of racially-motivated attacks in the wake of the vote:

Additional reporting by IRN