British Journal of Criminology (2022). DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azac071″ width=”800″ height=”471″/>

RR offenses count over time in the UK. credit: British Journal of Criminology (2022). DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azac071

Parts of the UK that were opposed to Brexit experienced a smaller spike in hate crime after the vote compared to areas that were leaving the country, research by Cardiff University has found.

A paper published in The British Journal of Criminologyprovides the first comparison of Brexit-related hate crime between England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The researchers combined a variety of data sets from a variety of sources, including police-recorded statistics, the Crime Survey in England and Wales and social media activity, to investigate possible factors behind the rise in hate crime following the historic 2016 referendum.

Researchers looked at data for every police area in England and Wales and found that those areas had more to vote stocks tended to have lower growth hate crimes in the month after the Brexit vote. For example, in Surrey, where the Remain vote was 52%, hate crime increased by 12% compared to Essex, where the Remain vote was 38%.

Scotland and Northern Ireland, which each have one police force and where most people voted to remain, also showed smaller increases.

Taking into account 31 other ‘trigger’ events between October 2016 and December 2017, including the Westminster and London Bridge attacks, the results show that the vote to leave the EU led to the second biggest spike in crime in the ground of hatred. The only event during this period that resulted in more hate crimes was the Manchester Arena attack.

Lead author Professor Matthew Williams, director of HateLab, based at Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences, says their “findings show that since the historic Brexit vote, departure areas across the UK have seen a greater spike in hate crime. Perhaps the results of the vote meant that some prejudiced individuals felt more justified in their opinions, leading them to be more active and confident in committing racial and religious hate crimes, either on the streets or through social media platforms.”

“Ours statistical model also shows that the increase in hate crimes was not due to an increase in victim and witness reports or an increase in calls to the police for information — two reasons previously used to explain the increase — but due to the number of crimes actually committed and reported by the police “.

In 2017, the Home Office linked the Brexit vote to the biggest increase in police-reported hate crimes since records began.

According to this research paper, an additional 1,100 hate crimes were committed in England and Wales in July 2016 – the month after the vote – in person or on social media, equivalent to a 29% increase.

Professor Williams says that “it appears that the slowdown is not happening the police reported hate crimes, and in the regularity of initiating events that appear to have strong observable positive associations with increased prejudiced attitudes and, in turn, the expression of identity-based hostility.”

“Important questions remain about the short-term and long-term management of hate crime. The government’s continued reliance on traditional criminal justice interventions, stronger or better policing and harsher sentencing, must remain in question. This hatred crime is so dependent on temporal forces that it clearly indicates the need for reassessment. Further research is needed to better understand these connections.”

Building Hate Crime Response Capacity in Community Organizations

Additional information:
ML Williams et al., The impact of the vote to leave the EU on changes in racial and religious hatred in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, British Journal of Criminology (2022). DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azac071

Citation: Areas of the UK where more people voted to remain saw less rise in hate crime after historic Brexit vote (6 October 2022) Retrieved 6 October 2022 from news/2022-10-areas-uk-people-voted-smaller.html

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