The Brexit vote in Britain has led to a significant number of racist attacks against immigrants across the country.
According to the United Kingdom’s Police Chief’s Council, the attacks increased sharply by 58 percent within a month after the vote to leave the European Union.
“The one, the first word, they were supposed to say ‘hello, how are you,’ but they said, ‘you’re not welcomed to this neighborhood, and you’re not about this community. So get out from our community.’ That’s when it started,” said Mohammed, an immigrant from Somalia.
But many victims are not willing to face the media and are still reluctant to report the attacks in fear of retaliation.
The tensions are particularly high in vote leave areas where people have been abused in the streets and physically attacked. To ensure their safety, local Non-Governmental Organisations like Stand Against Racism and Inequality are charged with moving them to safer places.
“Say in a predominately white British area, that’s where we will find the hotspots. So when they see these differences, they have a hatred, or have an instant dislike to these people because of their differences. And what we do is we will attempt to move a BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) family from this area to a diverse area, avoiding the problem,” said Andrew, a staff member of the Stand Against Racism and Inequality.
Police in the country have said that virtually no corner of the UK has been left untouched by racism – even areas that voted strongly to stay in the EU.
While 76 per cent of incidents were restricted to verbal abuse, 14 per cent of cases involved threatened or actual physical violence.