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UK Registers Fivefold Increase in Hate Crimes After Brexit Vote

© REUTERS / Neil HallVote leave supporters wear Union flags, following the result of the EU referendum, outside Downing Street in London, Britain June 24, 2016.
Vote leave supporters wear Union flags, following the result of the EU referendum, outside Downing Street in London, Britain June 24, 2016. - Sputnik International
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A 500 percent increase in hate crimes was registered in the United Kingdom in the week following the Brexit vote, the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said in a statement.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the statement, released Thursday, over 330 hate crime cases have been reported through an online portal since the referendum on June 23, while the weekly average stands at 63.

"In a number of forces, migrants are reporting verbal abuse, negative social media commentary including xenophobic language, anti-migrant leafleting and, in very limited numbers, physical assaults," NPCC Chairwoman Sara Thornton was quoted as saying in the statement.

According to Thornton, police are unable to determine how many of these crimes are linked to the Brexit vote. Hate crimes are also typically severely underreported, the spokeswoman added.

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In a nationwide referendum last week, 51.9 percent of voters backed the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Prior to the vote, the so-called Leave campaign had used the issue of immigration as one of the main arguments to persuade people to vote for leaving the bloc.

On Monday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on the residents of the UK capital to be more tolerant and stand against any rise in hate crimes in light of the referendum results that have the potential to create a rift in society.

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