David Goodhart: No, there isn’t a surge in hate crime
David Goodhart: No, there isn’t a surge in hate crime. It’s confusion that’s running riot
Conflicting evidence is fuelling minorities’ fears in Brexit Britain
Anyone who keeps half an eye on the news will have read troubling accounts in recent weeks of a big surge in post-referendum hate crime. In Britain hate crime is an unpleasant daily reality that the government should, and does, take very seriously: every incident is a small blow against a civilised society. And reports of a rising trend help to damage Britain’s reputation abroad and stoke fear and division at home.
But what if this upward trend is based on a partial reading of facts? To address this social scar we must first understand it and that requires reliable data.