Tolerance urged after racist slogans posted in Rugby - The Rugby Observer

Tolerance urged after racist slogans posted in Rugby

Rugby Editorial 7th Jul, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

RACIST slogans have appeared around Rugby in the wake of the EU Referendum.

Hand-written notes advocating killing black people and Muslims, and urging ‘immigrants out’, have been stuck to lampposts in the Overslade and Rokeby areas since the Brexit vote.

Pete McLaren, of Rugby’s Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, said: “I saw a sticker on a lamppost on Dunchurch Road stating ‘kill all migrants’ – right opposite Harris School. Others have appeared in Southbrook Road, Lytham Road and Bilton Road.

“The referendum seems to have encouraged a minority of racists to show their true colours and incite hate.

“The people of Rugby are generally tolerant and welcoming, and do not support acts like this.”

It comes amid national fears of a rise in so-called hate crimes. In the week following the vote there was a five fold increase in reported racist crime – with over 300 incidents logged.

A Warwickshire Police spokeswoman said they had investigated “a small number of incidents” of racist stickers in Rugby between February and June which were “not believed to be related to the EU referendum”.

“On July 5 we received a further report about similar stickers and this is now being investigated,” she added.

Warwickshire Police also received five reports of racist incidents across the county in the six days after the country voted to leave the European Union. These included a report of a man shouting racist abuse on Corporation Street.

Warwickshire Police’s Chief Constable reaffirmed the force’s commitment to tackling such crime.

Martin Jelley said: “Hate crime is not tolerated in Warwickshire and we will do everything within our power to ensure that offenders are dealt with appropriately.

“All reports to us are thoroughly investigated and the care and support of victims is at the heart of all that we do.”

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said the vast majority of communities in the county were “tolerant and respectful of each other”.

He added: “It is understandable that communities may be feeling concerned after seeing reports of vile and unacceptable behaviour from elsewhere but I am reassured that that Warwickshire Police will deal quickly and robustly with anyone responsible.”

Junaid Hussain, Chief Executive of the Rugby-based Warwickshire Race Equality Partnership (WREP), said hate crime was difficult to measure because most incidents were not reported to police.

He said WREP was working with Warwickshire County Council and the Warwickshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office to gather information on support services available for victims of hate crime.

He urged victims or witnesses of hate crimes to use WREP’s confidential reporting service at or by calling 01788 863117.

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