British leaders are currently struggling to find a way to deal with the impending recession in the wake of Brexit.
But economic slowdown isn’t the only immediate — and potentially chaotic — repercussion of the June 23 referendum during which Britain decided to leave the European Union.
The historic vote was followed by a violent surge in race-related incidents and hate crimes across the United Kingdom. However, latest figures show there has never been a worse time to be an immigrant in the island nation.
More than 3,000 hate crimes and harassment cases were reported to police in just 14 days, from June 16-30, according to National Police Chiefs' Council. It was a 42 percent increase on the same period last year.
Most recently, envelopes full of white powder were sent to London mosques addressed to “P*** filth.” Before that, a disturbing video went viral that showed a man on a Manchester tram being harassed by a couple of teenagers who told him to "get deported."
U.K. police said the uptick in unrest following the EU referendum was “the worst on record.”
“I believe the referendum debate has led to an increase in reporting of hate crime,” Mark Hamilton, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said. “It is very clear in the last couple of weeks that more people have been aware of experiencing such incidents than we have had before.”
As British leaders are scrambling to manage the financial fallout of Brexit, it is equally important to find a solution to the worsening situation for immigrants and minority citizens of the U.K. since the consequences of hate crimes, as opposed to economic ones, could be far more tangible, dangerous and long-lasting.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters