REPORTED race hate crimes have increased by a quarter across Sussex since last month's EU referendum vote.

Sussex Police has seen 68 more race related hate crimes recorded between June 24 and July 19 than for the same period a year ago.

While senior officers said they were not happy to see the increase, the county saw a smaller increase than the country as whole where hate crimes rose by 42 per cent.

The news comes as authorities across the county reiterate their opposition to hate crimes and the need for vigilance.

Deputy chief constable Bernie O'Reilly, who joined the force from Staffordshire Police last month, told police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne during a monthly scrutiny meeting that the rise was the equivalent of nine hate crimes being reported a day.

The force had initially reported in the days after the referendum that there had been no increase in hate crimes despite national reports of vandalism and threats targeted at the Polish community in particular.

Among the earliest reports of post-Brexit hate crimes was the racially aggravated threatening behaviour by a gang of teenage boys towards an eleven-year-old girl in Southwater Country Park near Horsham on the Saturday after the vote.

Mr O'Reilly said hate crimes remained grossly underreported and that the force urged all victims to report incidents to ensure that they got an accurate picture of the problem.

He said: "If we try and break that down, roughly this time last year we were having seven based hate crimes a day and we're now having nine.

"The numbers of hate crimes that occur across all of Sussex is really small so we are able to micromanage them in quite some detail.

"Since June 24 we have done a lot of profiling and analysis to see if there are any particular areas, particular offenders, victims or types."

Chief Constable Giles York went on to say not all of those incidents were violent and it was too early to say whether they were all linked to Brexit.

On Thursday, Brighton and Hove councillors of all parties unanimously passed a motion condemning racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally.

The council agreed to ensure local bodies and programmes had the support and resources to fight and prevent racism and xenophobia.

A similar motion was agreed at the West Sussex County Council meeting the following day.