In the wake of the EU referendum leave verdict, a motion condemning racism, xenophobia and hate crime received unanimous backing by Epping Forest District councillors at a meeting of Council on 26 July 2016.
Hate is unacceptable
Councillor Steven Neville put forward the motion that stated: ”As a council, we are proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society. Racism, xenophobia and hate crimes have no place in our country. Our council condemns racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally. We will not allow hate against others to become acceptable.”
”We will continue to ensure that local bodies and programmes have the support and resources they need to fight and prevent racism and xenophobia. We reassure all people living in this area that they are valued members of our community.”
”The council welcomes the fact that all reports of hate crime are properly followed up and that Essex police are working closely with the council’s Community Safety team to provide a proper response to all such reports in order to deter further incidents.”
Hate crime reports up
Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gary Waller proposed the following amendment, which was agreed by council: ”The council notes that the number of hate crime reports in the Epping Forest District rose during the week following the referendum on 23 June 2016, though such incidents are rare compared with some Essex local authority areas. It is noted furthermore that the figure has subsequently fallen back, although any occurrence is unacceptable.”
Inappropriate poster in Loughton
The adoption of the motion coincided with the discovery of an inappropriate poster, crudely fixed to a road sign on Willingale Road in Loughton.
The sign, which said ”Now British people can come first. You are a ****** if you remove this” was brought to the council’s attention by a concerned resident. The notice was removed by council officers on the same day.
Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gary Waller added: ”Offensive graffiti, hate crimes, xenophobia and racism will not to be tolerated by this council. If you or anyone you know has been the victim of any of these crimes, the sooner you come forward, the sooner are able to act alongside our partners in the community safety partnership.”
He continued: ”If you have been the victim of any such crimes or see any offensive graffiti, we would encourage you to tell us by reporting it online, contacting the Community Safety Team or Essex Police on 101. If you feel you are in immediate danger, always contact the Police on 999.’’
Watch the council meeting webcast (26 July 2016)