Hate crime up in Lancashire

Faruk Desai, director of Lancashires Racial Equality Council

Faruk Desai, director of Lancashires Racial Equality Council

Racists incidents increased in June – when the Brexit decision was announced – compared to June last year.

Police data released under the Freedom of information Act shows incidents spiralled by 68 per cent from 154 offences to 259 in Lancashire, with racial or religious offences up 80 per cent.

It is believed this is a hate-motivated offence and such matters are taken very seriously

And police are still hunting for a man who threw beer in the face of a woman in a suspected race hate’ attack in North Shore in July.

The 33-year-old victim, an Asian woman, was walking along Egerton Road when she was subjected to verbal abuse by one of a group of men gathered near the McColl’s convenience store.

One man then threw beer from a can into the woman’s face.

PC Guy Harrison told The Gazette: “It is believed this is a hate-motivated offence and such matters are taken very seriously.”

The man is described as around 26 or 27 years old and very tall. He had short dark hair and a grey jumper.

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Hate crime is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Lancashire.

“But police can only take action if these incidents are reported.

“Here in Lancashire we pride ourselves on having a diverse and inclusive community and it is a shame when a small minority forget this.”

But Faruk Desai, director of Lancashire’s Racial Equality Council urged caution over the figures, adding: “Any increase is concerning, however from April 2015 to March 2016 we recorded 599 incidents compared to 644 the year before – and that in itself was 15 per cent down on the previous year.”