The number of racist incidents in South Tyneside sky-rocketed in the three months following the Brexit vote in June.
Data provided to the Gazette under a freedom of information request to Northumbria Police, show the number of crimes with a racial element reported between July and September this year leapt by 387% - from eight to 39 - compared to the same three months in 2015.
There has been a noticeable increase in reports of racist incidences on the streets, on public transport and in pubsChris Howson, chairman, Sunderland city of Sanctuary
The number of crimes recorded, arising from these incidents increased by 412% – from eight to 41.
Of these, the number resulting in summons and charges doubled from three to six.
In June, 62% of voters in the borough opted to leave the EU, compared to almost 52% nationally.
Northumbria Police southern area commander, Chief Superintendent Ged Noble said: “Any crime that targets someone because of who they are is completely unacceptable and something we will not tolerate in our communities.
“We work very closely with all of our communities across South Tyneside to make sure they feel safe and supported and have the confidence to come forward and speak to us about the issues they face.
“It’s simply not right that anyone puts up with being targeted because of who they are and we actively encourage anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to report this to us so we can deal with those responsible and prevent it happening again.”
He added: “South Tyneside is a safe place with diverse communities living and working side by side peacefully. Unfortunately there is a minority, and it is only a minority, who try to disrupt this. We will make sure swift and robust action is taken against these people.
“There is no place in our region for hate crime.”
Hate crime can be reported to police using 101 in the case of a non-emergency or 999 in an emergency.
Further information on hate crime is available at www.northumbria.police.uk/advice_and_information/advice_for_victims_of_crime/hate_crime/