28% of Brits believe calling someone a racial slur is not a hate crime

An ICM poll has found that over a quarter of people (28 per cent) who use a racial slur at someone due to their race is not a hate crime.

The same number also thinks that hate crime laws are an attack on freedom of speech in the UK. Additionally ten per cent of the respondents think that physically attacking someone due to their race is not a hate crime, reports the Independent.

Home Office figures released in October suggest that hate crimes soared by 41 per cent after the EU referendum vote.

In the weeks after the EU vote there were man examples of hate crimes culminating in the murder of 37-year-old Polish man Arek Jozwick, in Harlow Essex.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met Police commissioner, said there was a “horrible spike” in hate crime in the UK following the vote. Records showed that in the 38 days after the referendum there were more than 2,300 recorded race-hate offences in London, compared with 1,400 in the 38 days before the vote.

Hogan-Howe said: ““We couldn’t say it was absolutely down to Brexit, although there was obviously a spike after it. Some of them were attributed to it because of what was said at the time. We could attribute that, and eastern Europeans were particularly targeted within the race-hate crime [category]. So there certainly was a spike related to it.

“We have fortunately seen it start to come back down, but I’m not sure we can say yet it is back to previous levels.”

The Poll also found that most Brits think that hate crime has increased since Brexit, finding that 58 per cent felt these types of crimes has increased, while around three-quarters think that hate crime is a problem in the UK at the moment.

There wasn’t much difference between Leave and Remain voters on the race hate issue, with those who voted to leave the EU only marginally less likely to think hate crime was on the rise.

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