Tensions in Mansfield being “closely monitored” after Brexit, says top cop

Insp Nick Butler

Insp Nick Butler

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Mansfield’s top police officer says the town is being “closely monitored” over growing fears foreign people could be targeted following the EU referendum result.

Almost 71 per cent of Mansfield voted to quit the European Union last week, which was among the highest percentage recorded in the country.

Nottinghamshire Police has confirmed a handful of hate crimes had taken place across the county linked to the referendum results.

In other parts of the country, reports have emerged of immigrants being verbally abused with xenophobic comments and even graffiti being daubed on buildings telling foreigners to “go home”.

But Inspector Nick Butler, district commander in Mansfield, has played down tensions in the town.

He said: “Everyone, no matter where they are from or what they believe, has the right to go about their business without suffering abuse or the fear of abuse.

“Emotions are running high following the referendum, but what our communities need is unity and understanding – not hate.

“We are alive to the issue and it’s something we are closely monitoring.

“Nationally, there has been concerns, but there’s been no specific increase raised to us. If we come across incidents we will take action.

“If anyone does cause damage or make threats then we will bring them to justice.

“I’m pleased to say we’ve not been getting these reports, so from our point of view it’s been positive, long may this continue.

“Understandably, there’s always nervousness when people are unsure, politically and economically, about what is going to happen next, but it has not turned into hatred in the community.”