West Midlands Police Prepared For Rise In Hate Crime As Brexit Deadline Looms
21 January 2019, 06:19 | Updated: 21 January 2019, 06:37
There's a worry police forces could be busier than they've ever been in the weeks leading up to the UK leaving the EU.
A Freedom of Information request by Heart revealed almost 1,500 crimes and incidents relating to Brexit were reported to police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the three years to last September.
The figures, which span the time leading up to, during and after the EU referendum in 2016, include 121 here in the West Midlands.
The offences include more serious crime like assault and harassment, as well as from people worried about demonstrations and banners being placed in public spaces.
Alena Useinovic lives in Birmingham, but is originally from Germany. She told Heart she's experienced a change in attitudes towards her since the UK voted to leave the EU.
#LISTEN German Alena Useinovic (who lives in #Birmingham) has told us attitudes towards her have changed since the Brexit vote— West Mids News (@HeartWMidsNews) January 21, 2019
It's as FOI figures obtained by #HeartNews reveal nearly 1,500 offences in the UK relating to Brexit since 2016 pic.twitter.com/JmH6ubjFy5
The West Midlands Police Federation told us they're prepared for a rise in Brexit-related crime as March 29th nears.
Many forces are planning to deal with the fall out from Brexit, with some annual leave in the weeks around the UK's withdrawal.