Leaders of all four political parties on City of York Council united behind a message condemning racism and vowing to clamp down on hate crime.
In an unusual and powerful move, Conservative leader David Carr, Liberal Democrat leader Keith Aspden, Labour leader Janet Looker, and Green leader Andy D’Agorne penned a joint statement.
It followed alarming reports of a rise in hate crimes nationally, with initial police findings suggesting that the rate of reported hate crimes has risen recently by 57 per cent.
In York there have been reports of abuse, including one incident where a Swedish woman was told to get “back to her own country”.
The full statement
We stand united to condemn any form of racism and xenophobia in York and we will not stand for hate crime.
We will do everything in our power to clamp down on these kinds of attacks, whilst ensuring we have the support and resources needed to fight and prevent hate crime.We reassure all people living in York that they are all valued members of our community.
We are continuing to work alongside North Yorkshire Police, Safer York Partnership and other agencies and urge people to report any hate crimes to the police via 101 non-emergency or 999 in an emergency.
The Stop Hate UK helpline is also available on 0800 138 1625 and is staffed by trained operators 24-hours a day, or there is also an online chat service available here.
– David Carr, Keith Aspden, Janet Looker and Andy D’Agorne