Hate crimes have soared in the East Riding since the nation voted for Brexit, figures reveal.
In the 11 months before and after Britain voted to leave the European Union last June, hate crimes have increased by a shocking 55% in the county.
The figures, gained by the Free Press through a Freedom of Information request to Humberside Police, have revealed the stark increase since the EU referendum.
The number of reports of causing racially or religiously aggravated public fear, alarm or distress has risen 69% in that time.
The number of racially or religiously aggravated assaults with injury has risen from zero before the vote to seven. And aggravated assaults with injury as a whole has doubled.
In 2015, 70 hate crimes were reported in total, which increased by 45% to 102 in 2016.
The figures for 2017, up until mid-May, sit at 61 showing an increase of 258% compared to the same time period in 2015.
Last month, a Turkish barber shop in Bridlington saw hateful vandalism sprayed on the business’ window.
Humberside Police says the figures show more people feel confident enough to come forward.
Sgt Nick Bunker, from its community cohesion team, said: “The vast majority of forces saw an increase in reported hate crimes and incidents around the time of Brexit and this is something we welcome, as it shows an increase in confidence in victims to come forward.
“Nationally, it’s estimated that 50% of offences are not reported, so any increase in confidence is something we would encourage.
“It’s worth taking into account that while there were a small number of incidents reported to us that were linked directly to Brexit, we believe there are a number of factors which have led to the increase in reported incidents.
“These include the high profile coverage of Brexit and the associated issues it put into the public domain, putting hate crime at the forefront of people’s minds.”
Humberside Police has recently launched a hate crime campaign to educate victims that hate crime shouldn’t be tolerated and should be reported.
Sgt Bunker said: “We have a team of dedicated cohesion officers who spend their time working within all our communities to strengthen relationships and aid mutual understanding and we also have detective sergeants from each local authority area we serve who review each reported incident to ensure appropriate action is being taken.
“We’ve also held a number of events with the disabled and transgender community to better understand their needs and learn from each other about what more can be done to tackle hate crime.
“We would strongly urge anyone who is a victim of a hate crime, or knows of someone who is, to call 101 – or 999 if in immediate danger. A hate crime reporting form is also available our website.”