UK & World News

  • 28 May 2014, 14:33

Racism Poll: Almost A Third Of Brits Prejudiced

Almost a third of British people admit to being racially prejudiced, according to a survey.

Researchers say it suggests people are as racist as they were 30 years ago.

The poll on British Social Attitudes found 30% of Britons describe themselves as either "very" or "a little" prejudiced against people of other races.

Among people over the age of 55 a higher percentage of people, 36%, consider themselves to hold some prejudice, while among those aged between 17 and 34 the figure is much lower, 25%.

The survey found variation in attitudes between geographical locations.

People in the West Midlands are most likely to describe themselves as racially prejudiced, with 35% admitting to some prejudice.

In London, just 16% of people admit to prejudice against people of other races.

Dave Stokes, from Birmingham, told Sky News: "Due to all the immigration that's going on at the moment I think people are worried about losing their homes and losing their jobs... I think it does turn people against foreigners."

Teacher Jonny Ivey said: "I work in a school in a white working class area where there is very overt racism in a part of east Birmingham."

He told Sky News he would not consider himself to be racially prejudiced, but added: "the tolerant society we live in doesn't allow people to air maybe more perceived racist views they have.

"When people get an anonymous chance to have a vote they will chose maybe more right wing views."

However, Sernjeet Seera, who is British Asian, said: "I've lived here all my life and I was born and bred in Birmingham and I've never seen it personally myself, any racism.

"And I work in a multicultural school and I've never seen it there either. They all get on, they all mix and mingle together."

The study, carried out by the independent organisation NatCen Social Research, found more than nine in 10 of those who admit to some level of racial prejudice would also like to see a reduction in the current level of immigration, in comparison to around seven in 10 who say they are not prejudiced at all.

Penny Young, the organisation's chief executive, said: "The findings are troubling.

"Levels of racial prejudice declined steadily throughout the nineties, but have been on the rise again during the first decade of this century.

"This bucks the trend of a more socially liberal and tolerant Britain.

"Our local and national leaders need to understand and respond to increased levels of racial prejudice if we are to build strong local communities."

Advertisement