‘Hatred will not be tolerated’

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Councillors in Ashfield are taking a stand against hate crimes in the area following concerns by members of the public.

Ashfield District Council members are set to vote on a motion asking the council to fight xenophobia and racism during an upcoming meeting.

Councillor Jim Aspinall, Labour member for St Mary’s ward, said the motion was being put forward to show the people of Ashfield that hate crimes were seen as completely unacceptable by the council.

He said: “We will take whatever action is necessary to stamp it out.

“I have had emails from people who are concerned about it and what we are doing about it as a council, so we have put this forward to make it perfectly clear.”

The motion, to be set out by councillors Cheryl Butler and Don Davis, reads: “We are proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society.

“Racism, xenophobia and hate crimes have no place in our country or district.

“Ashfield council condemns racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally.

“We will not allow hate to become acceptable.

“The council will work with agencies to support and resource the fight to prevent racism, xenophobia and hate crime.

“We reassure all people of Ashfield they are valued members of our community.”

Coun Aspinall said tension has been high in the district since the EU Referendum, but Nottinghamshire Police were monitoring the situation.

The motion comes following a 42 per cent increase in reports of hate crime across Britain in the week before and the week after the June 23 vote.

Mark Hamilton, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said an increased likelihood of reporting incidents, as well as an increase in incidents, accounted for the spike.

He said: “I believe the referendum debate has led to an increase in reporting of hate crime.

“It is clear in the last couple of weeks that more people have been aware of experiencing such incidents.”