At least 500 Brexit-related crimes since referendum, figures show
PUBLISHED: 10:33 23 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:33 23 December 2018
At least 500 crimes mentioning Brexit have been reported to police since the referendum, shocking new figures have shown.
Best for Britain, a group which campaigns for a second referendum, examined more than 20 Freedom of Information request responses from police forces across the UK and found a huge number of crimes committed in the name of Brexit.
In total, 500 crimes were committed from 2016 to 2018 with the words 'Brexit', 'EU' or 'referendum' contained in the corresponding police report. This includes a massive 253 cases reported by the Metropolitan Police alone between April and July 2016.
The British Transport Police logged 43 crimes involving Brexit, Hertfordshire Police were involved in 30 incidents and Police Scotland logged 75 incidents.
Some of the more severe crimes to have been committed include two rape incidents, affray, drug trafficking and a number of arsons.
The data shows that forces have logged 81 cases of racially or religiously aggravated assaults linked to Brexit. There was also a further 15 cases of communication networks being used to send offensive and menacing messages to people. 38 Public Order offences were committed that had a link to Brexit.
Bedfordshire Police were even called out to a domestic dispute in 2017 that was linked to Brexit.
Commenting on the data, Labour MP Virendra Sharma, a supporter of Best for Britain, said it suggested Brexit "unleashed a wave of crimes across the capital".
He said: "The divisive language used during the referendum campaigns, especially from key figures in the Leave camp, incited anger and fuelled resentment.
“Unfortunately, the current parliamentary gridlock won’t help quell that anger. The halfway house deal offered by this government won’t help either given it pleases neither Leavers nor Remainers.
"The only way forward is a people’s vote which allows the public to update their mandate.”