As the police investigate the murder of a Polish factory worker in Harlow, the Institute of Race Relations publishes today its evidence to the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee Inquiry into Hate Crime and its Violent Consequences.
‘There has’, according to the IRR, ‘been a return to old school racism, the racism of the ’70s and ’80s with the most common insults being “Go home”’. The IRR’s submission to the Inquiry backs up the feelings expressed by Radek Jóźwik, following the senseless murder of his brother Arkadiusz in Harlow. Radek Jóźwik has pointed to the surge of hatred towards eastern Europeans after Britain’s vote to leave the EU.
The IRR’s submission – which is an interim report on media-reported incidents in the month from 24 June to 23 July, a more comprehensive study will follow in the autumn – shows that the upturn of violence following the EU referendum was ‘diverse’, combining predominantly (but not exclusively) anti-migrant, anti-black and anti-Muslim racism.
- The majority of the 134 racially-motivated incidents occurred in England (84 per cent) with the highest number of incidents occurring in the Greater London area, following the North West and South East. Other findings include:
- 101 of the 134 cases reported in the press involved some level of interpersonal abuse, of which around half referred either specifically to the EU referendum, or the themes integral to it.
- The victims in most of the attacks were identified in the media as either Eastern European, Muslim or Asian. But the Black community also featured predominantly in media-reported attacks.
- Eleven of the incidents recorded involved the far Right, with demonstrations held in Newcastle (calling for repatriation) and outside a Midlands mosque (involving the EDL). Racist National Action stickers were found in Glasgow and Cathay, Wales. Numerous swastikas were daubed on buildings cars and on a memorial to Michael Foot, a former leader of the Labour Party.
In a separate news item published on IRR News today, we draw attention to the deaths of three Polish migrants and two people thought to be Polish in hate crimes since 2007. The IRR calls on the Home Office to consider the impact on community relations of its ‘insider-outsider/ messages’. Any new hate crime strategy must take into account the fact that eastern European workers are amongst hate’s first victims.
Download the submission to the House of Commons Home Affairs Inquiry into Hate Crime and its Violent Consequences, here (pdf file, 77kb).