More than a third of the UK’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) population have witnessed or been subject to racist abuse in the seven months since the referendum vote, a TUC poll has found.
The poll, made up of more than 1,000 BAME adults living and working in Britain, found that 34 percent have seen, or suffered, racist abuse since June 2016.
Hate crime increased by more than 100 percent in the months after the referendum statistics show. Police forces have embarked on intelligence gathering operations and are putting protections in place for vulnerable communities in expectation of a further spike after Article 50 is triggered later this month.
A fifth of those surveyed have seen or been a victim of a racial assault, while 41 percent have heard racist opinions or remarks and 38 percent have come across racist material online. Twenty-seven percent of the people asked have seen racist leaflets, posters and graffiti.
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “Brexit has given racism a new lease of life. Discrimination has never gone away, but since the referendum racism has been on the rise.
“The scale of abuse is shocking. We have to come together and draw a line in the sand about what is acceptable in modern Britain in 2017 – and the government has to take a lead. It’s unacceptable that shop workers, bus drivers and street cleaners face abuse from members of the public – and their employers don’t have to do anything to protect them.
“Anyone who has been harassed or mistreated at work should talk to their union rep or join a trade union. And we all have a responsibility to call out racist harassment wherever we see it.”
The TUC is calling for the government to strengthen rules that protect workers who deal with the public from harassment and abuse and to properly fund the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
Congress is also demanding that government make private sector companies responsible for promoting equal treatment throughout their activities – just as public sector organisations have to.