Sunday, 31 July 2016

Brexit: and condemning xenophobia in East Devon

There have been many more cases of racial abuse reported since the referendum:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and xenophobia in Devon

Some have been accused of not taking the matter seriously:
Politicians blamed for rise in 'respectable racism' (From Mid Devon Star)

However, the Home Secretary, has urged such abuse to be taken very seriously:
Parents and teachers should report homophobic, racist and religious bullying to the police, says Amber Rudd - Telegraph

Local politicians in Devon have also been speaking out:
South Hams leader speaks out against hate crime in South Devon following EU vote | Torquay Herald Express

As have the local police:

SHDC and Devon and Cornwall Police condemn hate crime

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 By Sam Acourt in Crime

Hate Crime Scotland poster

SINCE the results of the EU referendum, the National Police Chiefs Council has reported a 57 per cent increase in hate crime across the country.

Councillors from South Hams District Council have spoken out publicly against hate crime and say that there is no place in South Hams from people who support or incite racism, xenophobia or hate crimes.

Leader of SHDC Cllr John Tucker said: ‘Since the EU referendum result and news of hate crime on the rise, our councillors have been contacted by many people who are concerned about hate crime. ‘We absolutely think that this sort of behaviour is intolerable and would urge anyone who is suffering from these crimes or is witness to them to report it to the police.

Devon and Cornwall Police issued a statement saying: ‘You will probably be aware that since the outcome of the European Union referendum, some parts of the UK have seen an increase in the number of hate incidents/crimes. Early reporting of hate crimes/incidents can help us manage community concerns and best support victims.’

A similarly very clear message was sent out by East Devon District Councillors this week:

East Devon leaders publicly vow to stamp out racism and hate crime

29 July 2016 Eleanor Pipe

‘We are not immune to this sort of issue in our community’

District leaders have publicly vowed to stamp out racism and celebrate diversity amid recognition that East Devon is ‘not immune’ to hate crimes.

Councillors are sending the message that any xenophobic or discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated and reassured the community that they are fully committed to fighting such issues.

The matter was raised at a full East Devon District Council (EDDC) meeting on Wednesday (July 27), when members unanimously backed a motion for the authority to publically reaffirm its stance.

Councillor Mike Howe proposed the motion and said: “EDDC condemns racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally – we will not allow hate to become acceptable.”

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Tom Wright said: “I sit on police and crime panel and this issue has been very much discussed. I can assure you that Devon and Cornwall police are totally committed to doing all they can. We are not immune to this sort of issue in East Devon. We should do all we can to stamp it out and not tolerate it.”

Councillor Douglas Hull spoke out about his own experience of being verbally assaulted when he was younger and working in Birmingham. He said: “It’s only words you say, but I remember going back to my village feeling as if I had been punched. And it’s a horrible feeling for anybody to experience this.”

EDDC will work pro-actively with local bodies and programmes to fight racism and xenophobia so that everyone is valued and respected whatever their age, disability, gender, race religion or belief or sexual orientation.

Ottery St Mary resident Sara Drew attended the meeting after being ‘horrified by the sudden rise in incidents of race hatred and intolerance following the European Union referendum’.

She told the Herald: “We have a proud tradition in this country of welcoming people from abroad to live and work here and contribute to our nation. EDDC can and must show leadership at this time and I therefore urge the elected members to make it clear to everyone in this district that there is no place for any kind of expressions of hatred and intolerance.”

East Devon leaders publicly vow to stamp out racism and hate crime - News - Sidmouth Herald

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