Police investigate offensive cards as social media users report alleged racism following Brexit vote

By Victoria Craw

/Cards being put through the letter boxes of Polish families in Huntingdon. Photo / howgilb Twitter
/Cards being put through the letter boxes of Polish families in Huntingdon. Photo / howgilb Twitter

UK police are appealing for information after anti-immigrant cards were distributed in a village near Cambridge immediately after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

It's one in a series of incidents around the country following the vote that has led to fears of a steep surge in hate crime that could affect the country.

Over the weekend cards were distributed to cars near a school and properties in Huntingson saying "Leave the EU No More Polish Vermin" (sic) according to pictures posted online.

Cambridgeshire Detective Superintendent Martin Brunning said police are working to find those behind them who could face seven years in prison for inciting racial hatred.

"We are working closely with the affected community and are doing everything possible to ensure those responsible are caught," he said.

"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."

Local resident Daniel Guz - who was at the Huntingdon meeting - said he was reassured at how seriously it is being taken.

"The community are obviously feeling upset by this and we must offer all the support we can to the police to help them catch the people who did this.

"It's really important that we help the police to do their job and make sure nothing else happens to cause more problems."

It's one in a series of incidents around the country that also saw a Polish community centre in London tagged with graffiti and a protest outside a mosque in Birmingham where men were pictured holding banners saying "rapefugees" not welcome.

Police were also investigating reports of a racially-charged assault in east London after a man claimed to have come to the aid of a pair of Polish men who were injured on Saturday.

Others have taken to social media to share their experience of racism in the country that has been divided by a bitter debate on immigration during the EU referendum campaign.

Facebook user Natasha Blank created a public group Worrying Signs which provides a space for people to publish pictures of their experience.

Remain voter Sarah Childs has collated social media posts into an album and said the "vote has made it less safe to have been born elsewhere, and to be black or Asian".

"We need a plan for how we're going to fix this as well as the economics."

The posts have struck a chord with many who feel the outcome has divided the country even further.

James Robert Strange Mortimer wrote: "This referendum has really brought out the worst in Britain ... do you reckon it's all an elaborate ploy to get the racists to reveal themselves so they can be put under surveillance and spirited away in the dead of night?"

Others have shared their experience online on Twitter with one user saying he was shocked by the vitriolic backlash.

Politicians in the UK are still grappling with how to deal with fallout from the shock result that saw the UK vote to leave the European Union 52 per cent to 48 per cent

The turmoil continued on Monday with financial markets falling upon news 14 Labour cabinet ministers had also resigned in protest over Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Conservatives are also canvassing for their new leader after the resignation of UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

On Monday Vote Leave campaigner Boris Johnson sought to build bridges with Europe, saying the country was still a "part of Europe" and he would seek to "intensify" relations in the near term.

"I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe," he wrote in Britain's Daily Telegraph.

"The only change - and it will not come in any great rush - is that the UK will extricate itself from the EU's extraordinary and opaque system of legislation."

Brexiteers have also backed away from key pledges on immigration and the amount that could be saved by not being part of the single market, sparking criticism about the lack of planning that had gone into what would happen if the Leave vote won.

- news.com.au

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