Bristol

Brexit fuels hate crime in Avon and Somerset, says PCC

Sue Mountstevens
Image caption Avon and Somerset PCC Sue Mountstevens said she had "zero tolerance" towards hate crime

Brexit has fuelled an increase in hate crime reports, a police and crime commissioner has said.

Sue Mountstevens, PCC for Avon and Somerset, said 507 people in her force area reported racially-motivated crimes in the three months following the EU referendum.

This compared with 295 in the same period in 2015.

Mrs Mountstevens said it was "unacceptable" and urged victims to come forward.

Image caption Max came to Bristol from Somalia five years ago and thought he would be "much safer" in the UK

Avon and Somerset Police has launched a campaign called No Home for Hate to tackle the issue, particularly in south Bristol.

Victims have also been sharing their stories.

Max, who did not want to give his surname, said he was assaulted five days after the EU referendum in McDonald's, with his attacker shouting "we don't want immigrant people".

The attack was caught on CCTV and a man was convicted of assault and given community service.

Max said: "I never thought that would happen to me in Bristol. When I came to this country, I thought 'I am in the home of democracy'."

Image caption Anna Jakimowicz was racially abused on a bus in Bristol by another passenger

Anna Jakimowicz, from Poland, was verbally abused by a fellow passenger when she was on a bus.

She said: "He started to use a lot of swear words and said 'this is a public bus for British people'.

"I decided not to argue with him but he didn't stop. After a couple of minutes, people from the back of the bus started to hear what happened and told him to 'stop bullying this lady'."

The man was arrested and ordered by the court to pay Ms Jakimowicz £150 compensation after he was convicted of a racially-aggravated offence.

PCC Sue Mountstevens said: "To victims we're saying 'please come and report it to us, you don't have to accept it'. It is not acceptable to be abused or attacked just because you are different."

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