In the wake of national concerns about hate crime following the EU referendum, council, police, and religious leaders gathered to reassure the community and spoke out in a show of unity this morning (Friday, 1 July).
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council, said: “During times of uncertainty and increased tension it’s important that we all stand together. We have to show how strongly Croydon’s communities are united in a shared commitment to ensuring people can live and work together in harmony.
“We are proud of our diversity – it is something that we value and celebrate. We provide a welcoming home to individuals, families, and communities from across the world who contribute to all aspects of our daily life. They help to make Croydon the wonderful borough that it is. They are our friends, our neighbours, and an intrinsic part of our communities. They are and will always be welcome here.”
Cllr Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “It’s extremely disturbing that the outcome of last week’s referendum has been used by some to spread hatred and fear in our communities. Hate crime has no place in our borough. The police are exercising extra vigilance and will investigate any incidents of hate crime thoroughly. I encourage anyone who has been abused in this way to report what has happened. We will not tolerate anyone in our communities being attacked for who they are.“
Borough commander, Chief Superintendent Andy Tarrant, said: “We have not seen any increase in the number of hate crimes reported to us, in Croydon, since the results of the referendum. However, to reassure communities, we have increased our patrols and attended a number of faith events, in order to reassure people and promote community cohesion.
“Hate crime was unacceptable before the referendum and it is even more so now. I would urge any person who is a victim of hate crime to report it to us.”
Right Reverend Jonathan Clark – Bishop of Croydon, said: “The referendum debate has led many people to suspect that half of their neighbours don’t share the same basic values that they have. It has left many wondering whether they have any place at all. Neighbourliness needs rebuilding right now, from the ground up. Those who feel that they have been rejected need to know that they are still part of our community. Those who voted to leave and those who voted to remain need to reassure each other that they are still neighbours. The future is unclear, and looks likely to be a bumpy ride. The opportunities for division, recrimination and resentment are many. Now is the time to recognise that we are responsible for one another’s well-being that our own good is bound up with what is good for all of us.”
Matthew Sims, Chief Executive of Croydon BID, said: “One of the greatest assets we have in Croydon is the continuing growth of our strong, diverse business community which, together, is focused on working with one another to ensure Croydon achieves its potential. Working side-by-side, collectively, we are committed to achieving results and success for Croydon, London’s growth borough.”
For information on hate crime and methods of reporting it visit: