Letter on worrying increase in hate crime

A letter published widely in newspapers across the South West on the steep rise in hate crime since the EU referendum.

Hate crime has soared in the South West since 24th June. The alarming increase in racist attacks are being perpetrated by a minority who appear to be feeling emboldened by a vote to leave the EU.

During the referendum campaign I argued that the European Union has played a vital role in underpinning stability and democracy across our continent. We should not take our democratic rights for granted and I am shocked by the instability and divisions that the vote to leave, and the campaign itself, have caused.

On the campaign trail I experienced at first hand anger and intimidation; a degree of rage that I have never previously experienced in my political life. It felt to me that this was being deliberately unleashed by those whose currency is the politics of hate. The Leave Campaign’s deplorable use of fearmongering around immigration and asylum seekers has undoubtedly fuelled this hatred.

I urge all decent minded people in the South West to stand together against discrimination and to defend democracy. A good way to show your support is by wearing a safety pin, a symbol of solidarity against racism. I am wearing mine, pinning my hopes on working together to create a more tolerant and respectful society.

Molly Scott Cato MEP, Green

European Parliament