Police ‘passing the buck’ on post-Brexit race hate crime

Baronness Betty Boothroyd
Baronness Betty Boothroyd
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A senior politician has accused Lancashire police of ‘passing the buck’ instead of dealing with race hate crime.

Former House of Commons speaker Baroness Betty Boothroyd told Westminster of an incident reported to Lancashire police, which was apparently not acted on.

Her comments come after a reported increase in race hate crime and xenophobic attacks following the recent EU referendum result.

Baroness Boothroyd pressed the Government over what action was being taken to tackle “the widespread use of the internet to spread racial abuse and discord”.

She highlighted to the minister evidence of “a race hate statement on the internet coming from a named person from a named town in Lancashire”.

The peer added: “When my informant passed all the information to the Lancashire Constabulary they said they couldn’t deal with it until it had been reported to the Metropolitan Police.

“Presumably the Met then would pass it back to Lancashire.

“Will the Government stamp out this bureaucratic and buck-passing behaviour of the police when the crisis calls for resolute action?”

She did not give any further details on the incident.

Home Office minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said he would look into the issue but said steps had been taken to combat racial and religious hate crime.

Labour peer Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean raised concerns about racial abuse at school involving young children.

Lord Ahmad said there was need to ensure teachers were equipped to deal with such issues.