There has been a rise in racist incidents following Brexit vote according to reports
Troubling reports have been made of a rise in racist incidents following Britain's decision to leave the EU.
This weekend saw the BBC report on a number of incidents where people have experienced hostility because of the colour of their skin or ethnic background.
As of writing, it is unclear whether the referendum result has brought a rise in hostility, as a small percentage of people are emboldened by the referendum result and Leave's promises to reduce immigration, or whether the referendum result has caused an increase in such incidents being recorded.
Immigration was a key issue in the Leave campaign’s battle to win votes, in an approach which has been criticised as xenophobic.
Protesters holding flags reading ‘Rapefugees welcome’ shouted at worshippers outside a mosque in Birmingham this weekend.
A number of people have taken to social media to record and share their experiences of said incidents, using the hashtag #postrefracism. More that 21,000 posts are currently register to the subject, with one of the largest compilations of racial abuse being collected by Facebook user Sarah Childs
This weekend I and my family have witnessed 3 "when are you going home?" Racist incidents aimed at EU citizens here.
— Adam Boulton (@adamboultonTABB) June 26, 2016
Sarah Child's Facebook group "Worrying Signs" looks to highlight racist abuse that has occurred in the UK following the referendum result. At time of writing, the group has over 7,000 members and several dozen recorded instances of hostile behaviour.
"I was expecting this to happen as there was a lot of nastiness from both sides of the EU referendum campaign," said Sarah, talking to the BBC.
"I saw a theme running through my Twitter feed and thought I should gather the stories in a collection."
"I think it's easier for people to dismiss isolated incidents of abuse, but harder to ignore if the experiences are put together in one place.
The abuse is hurting people and it is something we need to address."
The Polish Social & Cultural Association in Hammersmith, London
Elsewhere, alleged racist graffiti was also found on the front of a Polish cultural centre in London, with a spokesperson for the Metropolitan police confirming to BuzzFeed News that officers from London’s Hammersmith and Fulham borough investigated "alleged racially motivated criminal damage" at the Polish Social & Cultural Association (POSK) building on King Street, Hammersmith on Sunday morning.
"Table next to me says to Polish waitress "How come you're so cheerful? You're going home." Him and the missus started laughing." Disgusting
— Jamie (@CylonNumber7) June 24, 2016
The Polish embassy in London has said it is "shocked and deeply concerned" by recent reports of xenophobic abuse directed against "the Polish community and other UK residents of migrant heritage".
these cards have actually been put through letter boxes of Polish families in Huntingdon today. I could weep pic.twitter.com/P3maK1Vasf
— fencelt (@howgilb) June 25, 2016
Police are also said to be investigating alleged hate mail being posted through the letterboxes of Polish families in Cambridgeshire. Speaking to Cambridge Evening News, one Polish student told of his experience finding a note outside St Peter’s School in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, describing the situation as making him feel "really sad".
This Monday, David Cameron said hate crime must be stamped out following the EU referendum result. "We will not stand for hate crime or these kinds of attacks, they must be stamped out," the soon to be resigning Prime Minister said in an early session of Prime Minister Questions.
"We have a fundamental responsibility to bring our country together.
In the past few days we’ve seen despicable graffiti daubed on a Polish community centre, we’ve seen verbal abuse hurled against individuals because they’re members of ethnic minorities. Let’s remember these people have come here and made a wonderful contribution to this country."
Cameron’s spokeswoman said the PM told ministers that "they should be absolutely clear that this government will not tolerate intolerance, condemning some of the incidents we have seen across the country over the weekend of intimidating migrants and telling them that they need to go home."
Hope Not Hate, the UK's largest anti-racism campaign, has also issued a statement asking authorities to take action in response to the racist behaviour.
"We call on the Government to give some clarity and reassurance to EU migrants about their status in the UK and their future.
Now is the time for all of us to redouble our efforts to focus on that which unites, rather than divides; to think carefully about the society we wish to shape; and to realise that, no matter what happened last Thursday, we all need to live together."