Britain is in the grip of an epidemic, apparently. An epidemic of hate. New figures, compiled by the Press Association, suggest that hate crimes soared to ‘record levels’ in the three months following the EU referendum. Only four police forces around the country recorded a decrease in hate crimes; the others saw a spike. And in the case of three forces – the Metropolitan, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire – the spike was significant: these forces recorded more than 1,000 hate crimes each post-referendum.
This is being held up as evidence that prejudices and madness were unleashed by Brexit. In truth, the hate-crime spike looks more like a classic crime panic, a constructed ‘crisis’.