Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said there was a correlation between the rise in reports and major national and international issues.
“We also accept that the spike that occurred after the referendum that there would have been increased incidents of this type of behaviour and we have seen this occur in correlation with national or international issues,” he said.
He then drew on previous instances where the number of hate crime incidents recorded shot up because of political issues.
Paul Nuttall has spoken out against the police over its stance on post-referendum hate crime
We felt that some people had felt that the referendum had given them a licence to carry out additional hate crime activity which was entirely to be condemned
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton
“For example, winding back to the Gaza conflict a couple of years ago, we saw an increase in hate crime,” said ACC Hamilton.
“We also see in last July, part of the reporting will also be related to the murders in Miami and also the incidents in France.
“We see more people being aware of hate crime according to international incidents and that makes them keen to respond.”
Host Nick Robinson interjected to get clarity on the officer’s stance.
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ACC Hamilton condemned those using Brexit to commit hate crimes
He said: “You’re clear instinct on the base of these figures is [it’s] not just reporting. You think there is some link between the events of the referendum and what indeed many embassies for eastern European countries here complain of – which is increased attacks on their citizens.”
ACC Hamilton replied: “Yeah we did say at the time. We felt that some people had felt that the referendum had given them a licence to carry out additional hate crime activity which was entirely to be condemned.”
The interview follows Ukip leader Paul Nuttall branding the rise in racist attacks following the referendum “overblown”.
Mr Nuttall said: “A lot of that [rise in hate crimes] is fabricated. In fact, we’ve got a paper coming out, specifically focused on London and the hate crime spike.
“What the police said is there tends to be a rise in these types of crime after any national event and then it tails off. I’m not sure I buy into [the rise in hate crimes].”