Police forces in England have disclosed a rise in anti-Russian hate crimes since 2022, which young schoolchildren among the victims.
Broadcaster Sky News submitted Freedom of Information requests to the British Transport Police (BTP) and all of the territorial police forces across the United Kingdom — over 40 in total — asking about “race hate crimes” and similar incidents involving Russian people since last February, when President Vladimir Putin announced his “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Only 14 of the forces provided figures, however, with dozens either not answering, claiming the information was not recorded, or — as in the case of London’s Metropolitan Police, the largest force in Great Britain — too costly to retrieve, and therefore exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
Nevertheless, the information provided by what few forces did respond indicates there has been a significant rise in anti-Russian action, with the charity Victim Support concurring that it had seen a “flurry” of incidents, some of which involved “hate-related bullying” at primary schools — roughly equivalent to elementary schools in the United States.
“Quite often with children and adults, it’s got that narrative of: ‘Go back home’,” explained Victim Support hate crime operations manager Becca Rosenthal.
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Some incidents spotlighted by Sky News included a restaurant with an anti-war in London being subject to threats and abuse along the lines of “close your restaurant or we’ll do it” and “Russian pigs”.
Others appeared to be more seriously with forces recording crimes including assault causing actual bodily harm, racially-aggravated common assault or beating, criminal damage and racially aggravated harassment.
In addition to referencing “hate-related bullying” of Russian children, Victim Support’s Becca Rosenthal said some people were victimised in the mistaken belief that they were Russian — and that some “anti-Ukrainian rhetoric” had also been observed.
Britain’s Home Office, the government department with broad responsibility for policing, border control, and national security, commented: “Hate crime is a scourge on communities across the country. It does not reflect the values of modern Britain.”
They further added that the “rise in cases is likely to be largely driven by improvements in police recording” — a perennial cry of the department and chief police officers whenever evidence of increased lawlessness arises, and one completely at odds with the fact that recording in this case is obviously not especially good, given only 14 of over 40 police forces managed to produce any data.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 27, 2023
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