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  1. ITV Report

Dorset sees highest rise in hate crime after Brexit vote

People gather in an anti-hate crime protest in Plymouth. Credit: ITV News

Dorset has recorded the highest rise in reported hate crimes in the country after last year's EU Referendum, according to new research by the Press Association.

The county saw the number of reported hate crimes double in the three months after June's Brexit vote and was one of four police forces in the region to record its highest level of hate crime since records began in April 2012 - although the actual number of hate crimes recorded was only just over 100.

The UK as a whole also saw reported hate crime at its highest level ever recorded in July-September 2016.

Other forces to record rises in hate crime included Devon and Cornwall, Wiltshire and Avon and Somerset but Gloucestershire saw hate crime reduced.

The remains of one Polish family's house after it was burnt down in an apparent hate crime. Credit: ITV News

Hate Crime: Regional Breakdown

Dorset

+100%
to 104 hate crime incidents recorded.

Devon and Cornwall

+63%
to 220 hate crime incidents recorded.

Wiltshire

+38%
to 134 hate crime incidents recorded.

Avon and Somerset

+19%
to 449 hate crime incidents recorded.

Gloucestershire

-4%
to 55 hate crime incidents recorded.
This note was left at family's house after the attack last July. Credit: ITV News

In the wake of the figures emerging, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned the country should prepare for the possibility of further spikes in offences once the Brexit process has begun.

But UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said that such incidents have been "overblown" in an attempt to "rubbish Brexit".