Migrants suffering from ‘despicable’ surge in hate crimes and racist insults
DAVID CAMERON has said that racism and hate crime targeted at migrants in the wake of the EU referendum must be “stamped out”.
The Prime Minister pledged to “bring our country together” after a series of incidents, including racist graffiti on a Polish community centre in west London.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council disclosed that reports of hate crime have risen by 57 per cent since the referendum.
It said there were 85 reports of hate crimes to True Vision, a police-funded reporting website, between Thursday and Sunday against 54 reports over the same period four weeks ago. Cambridgeshire Police is investigating after cards reading “Leave the EU – no more Polish vermin” were discovered.
An 11-year-old boy, whose family moved to Britain from Poland three years ago, told the BBC he was going to school when he found a card containing the words on Friday. The boy’s father said: “I live in this country, I pay any taxes. My home is now this country. I do not understand this situation.”
Sima Kotecha, a journalist who works on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, revealed that she had been subjected to racist insults in her home town of Basingstoke, Hampshire.
The Prime Minister hit out at those who have abused EU immigrants and black or Asian people as he insisted the country “will not stand for hate crime”.
Speaking in the Commons, he said: “We have a fundamental responsibility to bring our country together.
“In the past few days we have seen despicable graffiti daubed on a Polish community centre, we’ve seen verbal abuse hurled against individuals be- cause they are members of ethnic minorities.
“Let’s remember these people have come here and made a wonderful contribution to our country.
“We will not stand for hate crime or these kinds of attacks, they must be stamped out.”
Boris Johnson, who is expected to stand as a candidate for the Conservative leadership, said he was “appalled” by the reports of an increase in racism and xenophobia.
He said: “Hate crime of any kind is inexcusable and must be met with the full force of the law. Britain is an open, tolerant and friendly society that welcomes people from across the globe.”
Mr Johnson added that there was “no way” that EU nationals currently in the UK would lose their right to live and work here because of the referendum result.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, asked Scotland Yard to be “extra vigilant” and urged Londoners to “pull together and rally behind this great city”.