Families are being faced with “systematic bullying and intimidation” by people from “far right groups” since Brexit, a councillor has claimed, amid reports that hate crime has gone up by more than 50 per cent in a year. 

Cllr Julia Wassell said there is “no doubt” that since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, incidents of hate crime have spiralled. 

Her comments come as Wycombe police Inspector Pete Wall confirmed there were 364 hate crimes reported in the district in 2017/18 – up by 56 per cent from 233 in 2016/17. 

Speaking at the High Wycombe local area forum on Wednesday, Insp Wall said the force is “pleased” to see an increase, because it means more people are reporting it. 

He also said three of those hate crimes were “directly” linked to Brexit. 

Cllr Wassell said she has been working with police and housing associations on a number of cases in the area – and said ethnic minorities are facing abuse from right-wing groups. 

She said: “It is really horrible, systematic bullying and intimidation of individuals and families, accompanied by threats when people report it to the police.

"Retaliatory action is taken, often false allegations to the RSPCA, social services or the Department for Work and Pensions. 

“It is very often from people from right-wing groups. I have seen houses with swastikas in them, people shouting right wing chants and threatening me. 

“The police are doing a good job but there is no doubt there has been an unleashing of it since the referendum. Asian women are particularly oppressed, who have had abuse in the streets and from neighbours. 

“It is a growing problem. Let’s make no mistake about some people’s motivation here.”

Cllr Khalil Ahmed said the hate crime figures were “alarming” but fears the “full picture is not being captured”. 

He said: “Hate crime is still not being reported. It’s not easy to report hate crime unless you call 101.”

Insp Wall said: “We are continuing to see an increase in reports but hate crime is under-reported and that’s to do with confidence in the police. 

“We have seen a 50 per cent rise year on year in three years. We are pleased to see an increase – we know it goes on but we want people to be confident coming to us to report it.”

“We are pleased our community are telling us when they have been a victim because then we can tackle it.”