RECORDED hate crimes in Essex have included a complaint made against Nigel Farage, according to police.

Some 22 hate crimes were reported in the week after the June 23 referendum, compared with 9 reports the week before and 32 during the same period last year.

The countywide figures come as media and others have highlighted the issue of reported hate crimes following the referendum.

“We have some evidence of a recent increase in reporting of alleged hate crimes, but there is no evidence to suggest that any increase is uniquely related to the referendum itself. At the same time last year we had more reports of hate crime than the immediate post-referendum period this year,” said a police spokesman.

Last week, Assistant Chief Constable Maurice Mason told a council meeting in Thurrock that figures include complaints made about the UKIP leader.

“Some members of the public complaining about Nigel Farage, or whatever, that will get recorded as a hate crime no matter what it is. If the person feels it’s a hate crime it will get recorded as a hate crime”, he said.

However, the police spokesman said Nigel Farage was used as an example, rather than a trend.

“We have only had one complaint that cites Nigel Farage,” he added.

The comments come in a week when the colourful politician announced his resignation as UKIP leader to “get my life back” and his friends telling national media he has suffered death threats as well as hundreds of attacks online forcing him to beef-up personal security and him reporting to police of a threat to harm his family.