A recent vicious attack on a 17-year-old asylum seeker in Croydon has drawn widespread condemnation and is being investigated as a hate crime. It follows a spike in hate crimes following the Brexit vote in June 2016 which brought the issue of ethnic and racial harassment into sharp focus. Yet harassment of people for their ethnicity, religion or race has long been a problem for minority communities in Britain.
Over 20 years ago a survey found that around 13% of people of ethnic minority had been racially attacked or racially insulted in the preceding year. Since then migration patterns and attitudes have changed. But even as more people from ethnic minorities are now born in the UK, reports of harassment have remained relatively stable.
Our recent working paper, which used data from Understanding Society, the most recent large-scale nationally representative household survey, found that in 2010, 9% of all ethnic minorities in Britain reported experiencing ethnic or racially motivated harassment in the previous year.