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    The Union flag, (2L), the Scottish Saltire flag (2R) and the European Union (EU) flag (R) fly outside the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 25, 2016, following the pro-Brexit result of the UK's EU referendum vote

    Brexit Referendum Coincides With Unprecedented Rise in Hate Crime in UK

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    The number of hate crime incidents in the United Kingdom increased by 42 percent to more than 3,000 in the week before and the week after the Brexit referendum, according to police.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – UK police have registered an unprecedented rise in hate crime across the United Kingdom amid the recent referendum on the country’s membership of the European Union, the British media reported Monday.

    The number of hate crime incidents in the United Kingdom increased by 42 percent to more than 3,000 in the week before and the week after the Brexit referendum, according to police, The Guardian reported. In other words, the period between June 16 and 30 saw a daily average of more than 200 hate crime incidents that were reported to police occur across the United Kingdom.

    "Some people took that as a licence to behave in a racist or other discriminatory way. We can not divorce the country’s reaction to the referendum and the increase in hate crime reporting," Mark Hamilton, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

    Last year, British police registered about 52,000 hate crimes committed in the United Kingdom but, according to the national crime survey, the real number could be 225,000.

    The referendum on Brexit is not the only event, which resulted in a spikes in hate crimes – there was for example a sharp increase in crimes targeting Jews after Israel launched its military operation in the Gaza Strip in 2012.

    On June 23, the United Kingdom held a referendum to determine whether or not the country should leave the European Union. According to the final results, 51.9 percent of voters, or 17.4 million people, decided to support Brexit, while about 16.1 million opposed it.

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    hate crimes, referendum, Brexit, United Kingdom
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