Over 150 racist incidents reported to police in South Yorkshire in June

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More than 150 incidents of racist abuse and attacks were reported in South Yorkshire in June - a 45 per cent increase on the same month last year.

South Yorkshire Police said it recorded 94 hate crimes last month, with a further 67 ‘hate incidents’ which included racist abuse but fell short of being recorded as a crime also being reported to the force.

The figures have been released by the force after the National Police Chiefs’ Council recorded a 42 per cent increase in hate crimes in the wake of the EU referendum across the country.

The force said there had not been an increase in hate crimes since the referendum on June 23, but there has been a ‘slight increase’ in hate incidents.

In Sheffield, there were 35 hate crimes and 23 hate incidents last month, compared to 28 hate crimes and 15 hate incidents in June 2015. Last month also saw 22 hate crimes in Rotherham, 20 in Doncaster and 17 in Barnsley.

Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Poolman, force lead for hate crime, said: “South Yorkshire Police did not see an increase in the number of hate crimes reported to us following the EU Referendum vote on 23 June with a racial/religious aggravating factor.

“We did however see a slight increase in the number of hate incidents reported following the vote.

“Over the last year, the number of hate crimes and hate incidents with a racial/religious aggravating factor have steadily risen. Both international and national factors have played a part in this in addition to increased victim confidence, as more people come forward to report hate crimes to us.

“We know that hate crime is still vastly under-reported and South Yorkshire Police continue to work alongside partners to promote the reporting of hate crimes and we want to encourage people to report them to us. We will always listen and investigate all matters thoroughly.

“We have a force wide hate crime campaign which encourages people to report hate crime and hate incidents to us, and this year we also launched Operation Solar, an anonymous way for victims, witnesses and members of the public to report hate crimes directly to the police.

“South Yorkshire Police do not tolerate hate crime, and you shouldn’t have to either.

“Reporting these incidents will help us to better understand hate crime within our communities and enable us to put measures in place to respond effectively.

“A hate crime can be anything from name calling to physical abuse, targeted at someone because of their race, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

“Everyone has a right to feel safe where they live and we will continue to try and tackle hate crime across South Yorkshire.”

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