May apologises to Poland over rise of racist violence on English streets

THE same day that British prime minister Theresa May was forced to apologise to her Polish counterpart regarding a spate of murders and vicious assaults on her compatriots in the UK, another Polish national was savagely beaten in a suspected racist attack.

Around 20 youths pursued the man through the streets of Leeds on September 9, punching and kicking their victim when he collapsed to the ground. The incident is being treated as racially aggravated by West Yorkshire police and comes amid a significant increase in violent attacks on foreign nationals in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. 

The Polish embassy has released a statement relaying how its consulate general in Manchester has had to deal with ten violent incidences recently in the north of England alone. 

On Friday Theresa May had told Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo that “hate crime has no place in UK society” during a telephone call in which she expressed her deep regret over the escalating violence. 

In Harrow last month factory worker Arkadiusz Jozwik was murdered by a group of young men after they heard him ‘speaking Polish in the street’, and just hours after a vigil remembering his death, two other Poles were assaulted in the same town. 

More than 3,000 hate crimes were reported to police in the week before and after the Brexit referendum on June 23, with politicians and media bearing the brunt of responsibility for whipping up prejudices and fears in the run up to the vote.

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