26 July 2016
Mid Sussex District Council has spoken out to reassure residents that it is working alongside Sussex Police to ensure all residents remain free from racism and discrimination in Mid Sussex.
The EU Referendum at the end of June left many people divided on whether Britain should leave or remain within the European Union and recent reports suggest there has been an increase in racism, xenophobia and hate crime in some areas following the vote.
However, Councillor Norman Webster, MSDC Cabinet Member for Health and Community has been swift to point out that there has not been an increase in hate crime in Mid Sussex as a result of the recent vote to leave the EU.
Speaking at a meeting of Full Council on Wednesday 20 July Councillor Webster said:
“Mid Sussex is an extremely safe place to live and work; it’s rated as the safest in West Sussex and is among the safest areas in the UK. “We’ve all seen the reports in the newspapers, on television and online about a rise in hate crime nationally since the EU Referendum but we have not had any reports of Brexit related hate crime reported to the Police in Mid Sussex since the vote.
“We are fortunate that we live in such a low crime area and that instances of hate crime are extremely rare. The fact that we have not seen the significant increase in hate crimes experienced in some areas since the EU Referendum speaks volumes about our residents and shows that we will not tolerate discriminatory behaviour of any kind here in Mid Sussex.
“We work closely with Sussex Police and our partners in the Mid Sussex Partnership to monitor crime in the District, identify key community safety issues and reduce crime by running campaigns to tackle unwanted behaviours like race hate crime. “Racism, xenophobia and hate crime has no place in modern society and I want people to know that, should any incidents occur, they will be taken extremely seriously by both the Council and Sussex Police.”
Hate crimes occur when an individual is subjected to hostility or prejudice by another person because of their race, faith, disability, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Mid Sussex residents are encouraged to report any such incidents to Sussex Police by dialling 101, or 999 if the crime is particularly serious and there is a risk to anyone involved.
Anyone who does not wish to report an incident directly to the police can do so via Victim Support Sussex, a partner of West Sussex County Council, which provides the Hate Incident Support Service. Contact them online at:
https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/report-problems-in-your-area/report-a-hate-crime/, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling: 0845 0751 021.