Leading charity raises “serious concerns” about how Havering tackles hate crimes
PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 July 2016
A leading charity has raised “serious concerns” about how hate crimes are tackled in the borough after a number of incidents were brought to light.
On Saturday, a picture emerged on social media of a man at the Armed Forces Day celebrations wearing a T-shirt that read “Yes we won! Now send them back”.
The picture went viral and received widespread backlash with many quick to say it had no place in modern day society.
Havering Council leader Cllr Roger Ramsey said: “That [the man seen at Romford’s Armed Forces Day parade] is absolutely unacceptable to me.”
A Rush Green resident said he witnessed a “nasty” incident on Sunday when a man abuse six eastern Europeans.
He was at Romford bus station at about 9pm when the man, thought to be in his sixties, took offence at the group speaking their native language. He is said to have told the group “Go home, you are not wanted here”.
It escalated to the point where members of the group were being poked, pushed and spat at.
The 68-year-old witness said: “It was very nasty and horrible to see. I grew up in a time when things were very different and we have come a million miles since then and we do not want to go back to those times.”
Police arrested a 35-year-old woman on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence in a separate incident at the bus terminal in South Street on Tuesday. She accepted a caution.
A leading charity, Ramfel, which offers support to migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, is concerned by the apparent increase in hate crimes. Chief executive Rita Chadha said: “This could all have been avoided but people have avoided the topic. We have serious concerns about how Havering deals with hate crime. The borough really struggles to respond.”
A council spokeman responded: “The council takes hate crime very seriously and if a resident needs to report an incident, they must contact the police.
“We continue to work with the police to ensure the community is free of hate crime.”
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