Tunbridge Wells bucks county trend when it comes to racial hate crimes

Fran Taylor

Race related crimes across the county increased by 42% in the period covering the Brexit vote, figures from an FOI request have now revealed.

However, Tunbridge Wells bucked the trend with no reported increase.

Nationally pundits predicted a jump in race related crime because of emotions running high during the referendum.

Between the period of June 1 and July 8 – the vote itself was held on June 23 – the borough of Tonbridge and Malling saw a small increase in the number of hate crimes deemed to have a ‘racial prejudice’ motive increase from four in 2015 to seven this year.

The number of ‘crime related incidents’ – reports of incidents which could be a crime but are not recorded as such – remained static at three both years.

In Tunbridge Wells, the number of reported crimes actually fell from six to five during the same period, while crime related incidents climber from three to seven.

By comparison, the total number of incidents across Kent rose from 151 in 2015 to 214 during the referendum period.

Commentating on the figures Cllr Lynne Weatherly, Cabinet member with responsibility for Communities and Wellbeing at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said: “Full Council was very clear in its condemnation of hate crimes at its last meeting.

Hate crime should not be tolerated and anyone who feels they have been a victim of this should not hesitate to report it.”

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