Sunday 25 September 2016

'Get back to Africa' – video shows shocking racist abuse on Manchester tram

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 28/06/2016 | 15:50

David Cameron has said that hate crimes targeted at migrants in the UK in the wake of the EU referendum must be 'stamped out'. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
David Cameron has said that hate crimes targeted at migrants in the UK in the wake of the EU referendum must be 'stamped out'. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

British police have launched an investigation after a group of teenagers were caught on film hurling racist abuse at a passenger on a tram in Manchester city centre.

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In the video, three young men who appear to be drinking from bottles of beer can be seen shouting at a man to “get back to Africa” and “f*****g get off the tram now”.

Manchester Evening News reports that the tram was travelling from Shudehill to Market Street at 7.40am this morning, and that the man had asked the teenagers to stop swearing as they were upsetting other passengers.

In response, they began threatening the man that he would “get deported” and should “get off the tram now”.

The man responded by asking: “How old are you, 18 or 19? I have been here longer than you.”

As the young people continue to holler at him, the man can be heard saying: “You are extremely ignorant and not very intelligent”, before the teenagers throw some of their drinks on him.

The video shows the other passengers, including a child in a pram, being covered by the spray.

“There’s absolutely no need for that,” one passenger said as the teenagers disembarked at the next stop, while another shouted “disgusting” and “you are an absolute disgrace to England”.

Chief Inspector Gareth Parkin of Greater Manchester Police described the incident as “a disgusting display of abuse which quite frankly has no place in society”.

The video follows the news from the National Police Chiefs’ Council that an online hate crime reporting site had witnessed a 57pc increase between Thursday and Sunday compared to the corresponding days four weeks ago.

Similar incidents have been reported around the UK, including reports of signs saying “Leave the UK/no more Polish vermin” being posted through the letter boxes of Polish families in Huntington, Cambridgeshire.

According to local media, the letters were also handed to students outside primary schools.

David Cameron has said that hate crimes targeted at migrants in the UK in the wake of the EU referendum must be 'stamped out'. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
David Cameron has said that hate crimes targeted at migrants in the UK in the wake of the EU referendum must be 'stamped out'. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the “despicable” xenophobic abuse and said he “will not stand for hate crime”.

“In the past few days we have seen despicable graffiti daubed on a Polish community centre, we’ve seen verbal abuse hurled against individuals because they are members of ethnic minorities,” he told the House of Commons on Monday.

“Let’s remember these people have come here and make a wonderful contribution to our country. We will not stand for hate crime or these kinds of attacks, they must be stamped out.”

The Immigrant Council of Ireland said today that Ireland must learn from Brexit and examine our own attitudes to immigration.

“The Brexit campaign was dominated by a very negative narrative about migration. This has been followed, in recent days, by an increase in racist incidents in the UK,” said Brian Killoran, chief executive of the Immigrant Council.

“In the wake of Brexit, Ireland must examine our own attitudes to immigration and integration and, in particular, assess how these issues are being perceived and discussed publicly. 

“The Immigrant Council is calling for a national integration strategy to be published as a matter of urgency.  This must focus on building strong links within communities at a local level, in our schools and on the streets, and addressing the fear and misinformation that all too often lead to racist or xenophobic attitudes.”

The Immigrant Council also reported an immediate upsurge in calls from UK nationals to its helpline following the Brexit referendum vote.

“Callers were concerned about their residency rights, their right to remain working here and the rights of their family members to live in Ireland,” Mr Killoran said.

“At the moment, we’re keen to reassure all those contacting us that nothing will change in the immediate future.  Rules governing the residence rights of UK citizens and their families in Ireland remain in place. 

“The negotiations around the UK’s exit from the EU are likely to take a number of years, and it is expected that there will be no changes to UK nationals’ residency and working rights, or those of their families, during that time.”

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