16 February 2017
Green MEP Molly Scott Cato has expressed shock at the steep rise in hate crimes across the South West and says it shows how the vote to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump has ‘emboldened racists and bigots’.
According to new research by the Press Association, Dorset has recorded the highest rise in reported hate crimes in the country, but other areas of the South West have also witnessed steep rises. The UK as a whole also saw reported hate crime at its highest level ever recorded between July and September last year. Dr Scott Cato said:
“I am shocked by the instability and divisions that the vote to leave the EU have created. The Leave Campaign’s deplorable use of fearmongering around immigration and asylum seekers has undoubtedly fuelled this hatred. The election of a racist bigot to the White House will only further embolden those who want to sow division and hatred".
However, Molly Scott Cato went on to praise communities across the region for the strong stand they are taking against hatred and extremism. She said:
“I have been hugely heartened to see people rally in their thousands against racism and hatred. In particular, we have seen huge demonstrations across the region in recent weeks against Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, and almost two million people have signed a petition calling on the government to bar Trump from making an official state visit to the UK. I am especially proud of Bristol West residents who top this poll nationally: over 13,000 have signed, representing more than 1 in every 10 residents. These actions by the tolerant majority shows that love trumps hate”.