Surrey Police are hunting for a man they suspect of shouting racist abuse outside a pub in Shepperton last Friday (August 14).

The incident happened around 11pm in the vicinity of the riverside Thames Court Pub in Shepperton.

Police are responding after they received reports of a man they believe to have been "intoxicated" who was seen "acting in an aggressive manner, shouting racist abuse from the tow path following a physical altercation."

Eyewitnesses to the apparent hate crime described the main suspect as "around 5’8” tall, with short brown hair and wearing a grey t-shirt, black trousers and grey high top trainers with a white sole."

"He had a cut on his left cheek and spoke with a South African accent," a spokesperson for Surrey Police, investigating, said.

The Shepperton incident is one of a number of recent hate crimes reported in Surrey in recent days.

As the Surrey Comet reported earlier this week, racist graffiti was recently found scrawled onto the Liberty Lane footbridge that crosses the M25 in Addlestone.

Hate crime incidents have been on the rise in the UK since at least 2012 according to official government data.

Home Office statistics show that incidents of hate crime have risen every year in the UK.

A Home Office report into the data described an "upward trend in recent years with the number of hate crimes recorded by the police having more than doubled since 2012/13 (from 42,255 to 103,379 offences)" in 2018/19.

On Thursday (August 20) the county law enforcement issued strongly worded statements condemning the incident and vowing to work towards bringing the person responsible to justice.

"We will not tolerate this type of crime in Surrey, and would ask that anyone who was in the area on Friday, 14 August and saw anything, to come forward," PC Ben Nardoni said.

"Surrey Police takes a zero tolerance approach to hate crime which has no place in our society."

Contact Surrey Police with any information about what happened by calling 101 or going to their website and quoting incident/crime reference number PR/45200086101, or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.