Coronavirus: Arrests over 'disgusting' racist Covid-19 stickers

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Norfolk Heritage ParkImage source, David Rogers
Image caption,
The stickers have been seen near Norfolk Heritage Park

Two men have been arrested after "disgusting" racist stickers claiming to link migration with the coronavirus pandemic were posted in Sheffield.

The stickers bear the logo of the far-right Hundred-Handers group and read: "Open border, virus disorder" and "Pubs closed, borders open".

Police said two men, aged 20 and 22, were held on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences.

They have been released under investigation while inquiries continue.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said the stickers have been seen on lamp posts, bins, bus stop signs and bollards around Granville Road, Paternoster Row, the Crucible Theatre, the railway station and near Norfolk Heritage Park.

Alex Gwynne, who spotted some and asked neighbours to help remove them, said: "Using this pandemic to spread racism and hatred is unacceptable."

Image source, LDRS
Image caption,
Councillor Ben Miskell said he was working to get the stickers removed urgently

Ben Miskell, a local councillor, added: "This is absolutely disgusting and comes at a time where our diverse community is busy working together to tackle the virus.

"This sort of behaviour can damage community cohesion and relationships across the city. We're all working together to try to combat the virus."

He said he was working with the council to get the stickers removed urgently.

"We have got people from all sorts of different backgrounds working in hospitals, care and community groups that are coming together to help elderly neighbours - regardless of the colour of their skin or their origin in the world.

"These sorts of things are meant to just divide us rather than bring us together and capitalise on something awful that is happening in Britain for some really sinister aim."

A police spokesman said its investigation was continuing.

The Hundred-Handers group is known for printing racist messages and posting them around the UK and other countries.

The messages on Covid-19 and migration have also been found in other cities including York, Leeds and Hull.

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