Published: 24 Oct 2016
Equality and Human Rights Commission Chair David Isaac has met with the Polish Ambassador, Arkady Rzegocki, and Consul Michal Mazurek to discuss rising incidents of hate crimes against Polish people following the EU referendum, and closer collaboration with the embassy to tackle further instances.
The Commission has produced guidance on what to do if you're worried about racism, and how to report it. This information has now been published on the Commission website in Polish.
David Isaac said:
"It is clear some people used the Brexit vote to justify their deplorable views and spread intolerance and hatred. We must condemn each and every act; hate crime continues to be significantly underreported, and all victims should have the confidence to come forward.
"I am pleased that we can work with the embassy and support the Polish community in Britain. We hope the important information we have produced in Polish and other languages will be distributed among relevant communities and will encourage anyone who has been the victim of a hate crime to report it. I would like to thank Ambassador Rzegocki and Consul Michal Mazurek for meeting with me to discuss these matters."
Polish Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki said:
"We are saddened by each and every incident of hate crime, but we also recognise and appreciate the show of solidarity from the British public and the decisive steps taken by the British government and local authorities to resolve the problem. We hope that the infographics in the Polish language produced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission will help increase reporting of hate crime. We need to work together to foster dialogue and mutual understanding between communities."
In the months following the announcement of the results of the EU referendum, the Polish consular services in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh have offered assistance with 35 individual incidents and instances of ongoing harassment reported by Polish nationals as hate crime. The most serious incidents included the killing of Arkadiusz Józwik in Harlow (Essex), 10 assaults, and 8 violent vandal attacks on houses and businesses belonging to Polish people.
The Polish Embassy is actively working with British partners to develop long-term solutions to prevent hate crime and reassure Poles living in the UK. Meetings and consultations between the Prime Ministers as well as the Foreign and Home Affairs Ministers of both countries laid foundations for a number of initiatives. These included a community engagement mission in Harlow, carried out by Polish State Police in co-operation with Essex Police; meetings between the Polish Ombudsman and the Equality and Human Rights Commission; and the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) conference in Warsaw on preventing and tackling hate crime, co-sponsored by the Polish and British governments.
Notes to editors
Or contact one of the Polish Embassies in the UK.
London: Wydział Konsularny Ambasady RP w Londynie
+44 (0)207 8228 900
Manchester: Konsulat Generalny RP w Manchesterze
+44 (0)161 245 4130
Edinburgh: Konsulat Generalny RP w Edynburgu
+44 (0)131 5520301
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