Greater Manchester hate crime reports rise by 50%

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling
Image caption Dep Ch Const Ian Pilling said hate crime "was unacceptable"

Police have seen a 50% rise in the number of hate crimes reported in Greater Manchester in the past week.

Officers said there were normally 20 reports of hate crimes per day but this had risen to 30 since Friday, the day after the UK voted to leave the EU.

Greater Manchester Police said it "cannot categorically" say if the rise was "related to any particular event".

Dep Ch Const Ian Pilling said the "small increase" was of concern and "all hate crime was unacceptable".

'National picture'

Incidents in the past seven days include the closure of a community centre for African-Caribbean pensioners in Hulme on Wednesday over racist threats and the racial abuse of a US Army veteran on a Manchester tram on Tuesday.

Three people were arrested on suspicion of affray following the tram incident. Two men aged 20 and 18 and a 16-year-old boy have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Dep Ch Const Pilling said: "What's happening in Greater Manchester appears to reflect a national picture that has emerged in recent days.

"True Vision, the national online reporting site, has told us they have received some disgraceful examples of racial abuse around the country this week."

The force fears such crimes are going unreported and is urging people to contact the police with any concerns.

Dep Ch Const Pilling said: "Many people in our communities will be feeling anxious right now as a result of the perception that a small number of people are using recent events to give ill-judged legitimacy to their hate-filled views.

"I would urge anyone with mobile footage of suspected hate crimes to report it to the police rather than just share it on social media platforms - unless police officers are made aware they cannot investigate it and catch offenders."

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