POLICE say there has been a rise in religious and racial hate crime across South Yorkshire since the EU referendum.

Since the UK voted to leave the EU last month, police say reports of hate crime have spiked, with videos of some of the abuse being shared on social media. 

Police say that due to the nature of the crime, victims and witnesses of the abuse are reluctant to come forward, but are encouraging people to speak out against the offence.

The South Yorkshire Police Senior Leadership Team said: "We are aware of concerns within our communities about a rise in incidents of religious and racial abuse following the recent EU referendum.

"We are also aware that due to the nature of this type of crime that people don’t always feel that they can or that they want to tell police. As a result, incidents can go unreported.

"We are urging anyone affected by hate crime or who is a victim of abuse to report it to us.

"It doesn’t have to be directed at you, you can still report it to us or to one of our third party reporting centres.

"Reporting can make a big difference – as well as helping to prevent someone else from being a victim, it helps us to understand what is going on in our communities and the best way for us to respond.

"South Yorkshire Police will not tolerate hate crime or hate-related incidents and we are committed to tackling hostility aimed at someone because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability.

"Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure in their communities and we are working with our partners to tackle hate crime head on and bring those responsible to justice."