(Oxford Dictionary, 2010); ‘Hate crime’; ‘A crime, typically one involving violence, that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other grounds. The crime is judged to be a hate crime, once it breaks the law and becomes a criminal offence. A recent example of a hate crime is footballer Raheem Sterling who was racially targeted in England’s 5-1 win over Montenegro on Monday the 25th of March.

In an engaging conversation with Fozia Shaikh, Hate Crime Outreach Officer of Waltham Forest, significant matters had been shed light on. The 2016 EU referendum had proved to show the country being split over the decision and as a result hate crime began to occur in areas that have minor ethnic groups. This is shown in statistics showing the highest areas of hate crime in the UK, happening where the majority of people voted to leave in the Brexit vote. An example is the West Midlands, where hate crimes reported are unheard and left unanswered by the police as many others. Hate crimes tend to go unreported because of the lack of trust with the authorities, which has spiked in stats after the 2016 EU Referendum.

To further my findings, I directed two questions in the way of Fozia; ‘What is Waltham Forest Council’s approach to decrease numbers of hate crime in the borough?’ And ‘why do people feel the need to join hate crime groups?’ In which she replied; “The police are planning to be stricter on the in fluctuating domestic abuse and for more community cohesion as it helps cut out any crime or hate crime. Furthermore, intensify the level of safeguarding in schools to prevent future hate crime incidents and lastly a superintendent for both Newham and Waltham Forest”. In terms of the second question, Fozia replied with ‘people face seclusion and isolation resulting from no occupation and as a result need to feel a sense of belonging (e.g. football clubs and social groups). But most importantly, this stems from different interpretations, perspective and biased media sources leading them to make that choice’.

To fully comprehend the impact of Brexit, I conducted a questionnaire for the stallholders in Walthamstow market. The questions included;  With Waltham Forest, being ranked considerably low in statistics for hate crime. Do you feel a sense of security for not just yourself, but for family and friends of different cultural backgrounds?

 If a hate crime was to occur in your life would you want to report it to the authorities? Do you trust the authorities with your matters, if not why?

 Do you know the organisations affiliated with helping to prevent hate crime? Name 3 of these organisations.  Recent videos of hate crime emerging from schools have captured the hearts and minds of the country. Do you think we should take further precautions? State 2 ways how.

 To conclude, statistics have shown ‘Brexit’ to play a fundamental role in hate crime. Have you felt angst since the referendum and why?

The stallholders who had taken part in the questionnaire complained about Brexit having a detrimental effect on stocks. For example, a fruit & veg stall holder said ‘stock is brought from around the continent and Brexit’s trade laws could complicate the process. Another stallholder spoke about how Brexit could impact her settled status. A common trend I found, was majority of stallholders were from different countries all over Europe and a part of the European Union. Furthermore, the questionnaire had showed that as a whole the market couldn’t exactly define what a hate crime was and how it could be prevented. This could be a positive for Waltham Forest, as it isn’t normalised as other rural areas.

From the research conducted, I found two sources which outlines how hate crime had increased after the 2016 EU referendum. Daniel Devine LSE blog (2018); 'British Politicians helped fuel a steep rise in racist hate crimes during and after the EU referendum campaign'. The rate of hate crime increasing is emphasised in this blog. The Home Office data released in October 2017 about the number of racial and religious hate crimes in England and Wales showed fluctuations in hate crime that year. This was mostly down to how the media would portray ethnic minorities. The terms 'immigrants' and 'migrants' used in the peak of the Brexit referendum, led to immediate spikes in hate crime recorded. In addition, German newspaper Deutsche Welle (2018); "Is the UK's 'racist' hate crime problem is out of control". A respectable, reliable news source highlighting the ‘racist’ hate crime shows it speaking on what seems to be the most common hate crime. Once again, proving to show why hate crime has become such an issue.