Brexit challenges will be met in “united and dignified way” says Peterborough City Council cabinet member

One of the notes being investigated by police
One of the notes being investigated by police
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A call for unity has been made by a Peterborough City Council cabinet member as she pledges to meet the post-referendum challenges in a “united and dignified way.”

Councillor Irene Walsh, whose portfolio is for communities and environment capital, said everything will be done to make sure Peterborough’s proud history of being a peaceful place to live can continue.

Her words come on the back of recent incidents of racial abuse nationally and a small number in Peterborough.

Cllr Walsh said she wanted to make it clear that the council will not stand for hate crime or abuse directed at any individual.

She added: “I want to reassure all members of our community that we take such behaviour extremely seriously. We will not tolerate any incidents or attacks that seek to undermine the peaceful and respectful relationships that exist between communities of all backgrounds in Peterborough.

“Migrant communities have made a significant contribution to the city and fulfil an important role in our public services, businesses, heritage, culture and faith.

“I understand that this is a period of uncertainty for many people, and that many may be feeling worried. By working together and continuing to have mutual respect and common resolve, we will face the challenges of the next few months in a united and dignified way.

“Peterborough has a proud history of being a peaceful, welcoming and respectful place to live, work and visit and together we must do all that we can to ensure this continues.”

Police are currently investigating three incidents of racist abuse in Peterborough which a spokesman said “could be deemed to have happened as a result of the EU referendum.”

The Constabulary is staying tight-lipped about the full extent of the allegations, to avoid copycat incidents, but a spokesman said one alleged victim is of Asian descent and another two are European.

The reported incidents took place in Townsend Close, Millfield, Welland Road, Dogsthorpe and Watergall, Bretton, and no arrests have been made.

In addition, laminated cards reading “Leave the EU - no more Polish” were delivered to members of the Polish community in Huntingdon. Detective Superintendent Martin Brunning said inciting racial hatred carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

He added: “We are working closely with the affected community and are doing everything possible to ensure those responsible are caught.

“Any reports of hate crime in the county will be fully investigated and it is vitally important that anyone who has received these leaflets or suffered similar abuse reports it.”

Anyone with information on the prejudice incidents, or who has been a victim, should contact police on 101 or report online via www.report-it.org.uk/.