North Wales Police boss gets tough on post-Brexit racist abuse

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Arfon Jones, the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner at Police HQ in Colwyn Bay.

 

A police boss has warned that racist abuse will not be tolerated in North Wales in the wake of the Brexit vote to leave the European Union.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones spoke out after hearing there had been a worrying rise in hate crime in other parts of the UK following the referendum result.

It’s understood more than 100 incidents of racial abuse and hate crime have been reported across Britain since the out vote, with a many of the alleged perpetrators citing .the decision to leave the EU.

One video, said to have been filmed in Hackney on the morning after the referendum, shows a man arguing with someone in a car before yelling: “Go back to your country”.

Welsh public figures also say they have been subjected to racist abuse, including Muslim Remain campaigner Shazia Awan, a former Conservative parliamentary candidate, who received a Tweet on Friday saying: “Pack your bags….youre (sic) going home.”

She has reported eight people to South Wales Police.

Mr Jones said: “I am aware that since the referendum result last Friday there have been reports of racist abuse and threatening behaviour towards ethnic minorities across Wales and the UK.

“So far in North Wales I am pleased to see that there has not been an increase in hate related incidents and it is important that we do all we can to prevent and protect people from this insidious type of crime.

“I urge people to report those inciting or committing hate crimes. As North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner I am firm in my stance that we must stand up to the scourge of post Brexit racism.

“I encourage our communities to counter racist narrative by standing up to those carrying out such abuse and report them immediately to the police. Racism against our fellow citizens is wholly unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

“The tone and the rhetoric used by certain Leave campaigners prior to the referendum can be described as creating fear and hatred and following the result of the referendum it seems that some individuals believe that the result gives ‘carte blanche’ to abuse and harass people they think should not remain in this country.

“This type of behaviour will not be tolerated. North Wales Police and I will do everything within our powers to protect everyone who lives and visits North Wales whatever their country of origin and will prosecute those who commit hate crimes.”