Rotherham MP Sarah Champion is calling for witnesses of racially-motivated hate crimes to report them to the police.
Ms Champion said a number of residents have told her they believe there has been an increase in verbal and physical assaults motivated by race in the town.
But the MP said she fears that many of the victims and witnesses of incidents have not been reporting them to South Yorkshire Police.
She said: “It is very important that racially-motivated hate crimes are reported to the police, no matter how minor they seem.
“I have spoken to many residents from different communities in Rotherham who believe there has been an increase in racist incidents.
“If the police are not made aware of these crimes taking place then they may not put the necessary
resources in place to deal with the problem.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Hate crime is crime which is perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a persons race or religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
“South Yorkshire Police is committed to dealing with all levels of hate crime and with incidents that are motivated by hate but are not classified as crimes.”