COUNCIL chiefs say hate crime in Warwick district will not be tolerated.
Following an increase in racial abuse across the country in the wake of the EU referendum, councillors in the district have united to warn all staff and residents the authority will adopt a zero tolerance approach when dealing with incidents of abuse, discrimination, bullying and harassment, in particular when it relates to race, religion, sexual orientation, age or gender.
Council deputy leader Michael Coker said: “Any form of abuse, harassment, bullying and/or victimisation can seriously affect the health, confidence and morale of the person affected by it.
“We would like to assure people that if incidents of abuse are reported to us they will be investigated and dealt with as appropriate.”
Ch Insp Faz Chishty of Warwickshire Police reinforced the message.
He said: “Although we have not seen a significant increase in reports of hate crime in Warwick district following the referendum, we know that incidents of hate crime are underreported and there are victims who may not be coming forward.
“Warwickshire Police is committed to protecting communities from harm and I would urge all local people to report any issues or concerns.
“Nobody should tolerate being victimised because of who they are. It is important that we truly understand the extent of hate crime in Warwick District. I would like reassure our communities that every report will be investigated.”
The warning comes just a week after Leamington firm AGA Rangemaster moved quickly to issue a similar warning after a single incident of abuse at the firm’s Eagle Street factory.
Anyone who has been a victim of abuse or needs to report an incident should contact Warwickshire Police by calling 101
online at www.report-it.org.uk, or in an emergency should call 999.