Racial hate crimes ‘will not be tolerated’ in the wake of the EU Referendum vote, the leader of Arun District Council has insisted.
It follows ‘concerns’ from Arun residents that discrimination reported in other parts of the country since Britain voted to leave would be repeated here.
Arun council leader Gillian Brown said: “I am aware Arun residents have voiced concerns about recent media articles reporting a rise in hate crimes, in the wake of the EU Referendum result.
“I want to reassure residents that this has not been the picture in Arun, where I have it on authority from Sussex Police there has been no rise in reported incidents of this kind.
“I wish to make it absolutely clear that, as a council, we will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
“Everybody has the right to feel safe in their community and any kind of hate crime is wholly unacceptable, whatever the circumstances.
“Arun District Council, working together with its public sector partners including Sussex Police, has worked hard for many years to ensure that migration into the district, be it national or international, is carefully managed to maintain community cohesion.”
Both Bognor Regis and Littlehampton have large Eastern European communities.
Though Sussex Police has said there have been no reports of a rise in racial abuse, the Observer and Gazette has been told that some Polish people are considering leaving as a result of the EU vote to leave on June 23.
Last week, Bognor’s mayor Pat Dillon said he thought the town had some ‘integration issues’.
“In the context of the national picture, Arun remains a very safe place to live, work or visit,” Mrs Brown said. “This is something we are proud of and work hard to preserve.
“Arun has seen the successful integration of a wide range of migrating communities over many years and this has been achieved through education and positive engagement.”
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