Police believe the spike in hate crimes in the UK is due to June's European Union membership referendum. Reports of hate crimes and racist attacks to police increased by 42%, to more than 3,000 allegations across the UK, in the weeks leading up to the 23 June vote.

"It's probably the worst spike," said Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, the National Police Chief Council's lead for hate crime.

Among the cases are two six-year-old girls accused of punching a victim in a racist attack, as well as a three-year-old investigated by police for causing harassment and distress. In Cheshire, a four-year-old girl was reported for shouting anti-Semitic and homophobic abuse, according to the Mirror.

Hamilton told MailOnline: "Children under 10 are below the age of criminal responsibility. They cannot be prosecuted for any offence. Police can take reports of any hate incident but in cases involving children under 10 police will not take any criminal action against a child

"Police may however work with families, schools and other agencies to ensure that there is a proportionate and age appropriate response to these issues."

"We have been told about children giving Nazi salutes and making anti-Semitic comments. The n-word and p-word are also used and this has to stop," said Zak Cochrane from Stand Up To Racism.

"One of the biggest issues is children sharing or writing Islamophobic or racist comments on social media. This spiked after the Paris attacks.

"We also hear from staff raising concerns that children are being negatively influenced by the all too common scapegoating of migrants, ­Muslims and refugees in politics."

In Devon and Cornwall, detectives investigated complaints that a nine-year-old boy waved a knife around while making racially abusive comments. Other types of hate crime also on the rise include religious slurs in schools, as well as arson and homophobic attacks.

More than 100 children were reported for racial or religious abuse during 2015, some as young as three. The figures have almost doubled compared to those reported in 2011, according to data released to the Sunday People which was provided under Freedom of Information laws.