Hate crimes in Hampshire surge after Brexit vote - but drop in Surrey

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British Transport Police received 620 reports of hate-related incidents - an increase of 34 per cent since before the European Union referendum.

The figures show West Yorkshire recorded 1,013 incidents in the three-month period compared to South Yorkshire at 225, Humberside at 140 and North Yorkshire at 64.

HATE crime figures in Hampshire have skyrocketed to an all time high, it has been revealed.

3 in 4 police forces saw record levels of hate crime in the 3 months following the European Union referendum.

Incidents rose by 75 per cent between July and September 2016 - the only police force which reported a higher rise was Dorset, where the crime increased by 100 per cent.

David Isaac, chair of the EHRC, said it "must be sensible to prepare for any possible spikes" in hate crime once Brexit negotiations got under way.

The British government said it was working on ways to tackle hate crime and provide help to its victims.

"We are continuously monitoring the reporting of hate crime and have a very robust method for recording and understanding the issue".

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Paul Nuttall has rejected police figures showing a spike in the number of reported racist attacks following the Brexit vote, arguing the stats have been "overblown" by Remain campaigners.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission said that the findings suggested that a small minority had used Brexit "to legitimise inexcusable racism and prejudice".

Meanwhile three forces recorded more than 1,000 hate crimes - the Metropolitan Police in London (3,356), Greater Manchester (1,033) and West Yorkshire (1,013).

"Had the campaign been conducted in a different manner, I don't think we would have seen that explosion in hate crime".

'The triggering of Article 50 is the next major milestone and we must do all we can to discourage hate attacks and to support people who feel at risk'.

"Hate incidents and crimes of any kind are not acceptable, and instances of it need to end".

Lucy Hastings, director at Victim Support, said: 'Hate crime has no place in our society and every victim of this crime is one too many.

The new analysis shows that a rise in incidents was seen in nearly every force in England and Wales, both year-on-year and when comparing the three months either side of the referendum.

Comparable data is not available for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In October 2016, the UK Home Office published preliminary numbers indicating, much like the Press Association's fresh analysis, that hate crime numbers had indeed risen following the Brexit referendum.