Racial abuse and assaults are on the increase in Rotherham in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal which rocked the town.
Police chiefs have revealed that the month before the publication of the damning report into the abuse of children by largely Pakistani men there were seven reports of racial harassment or racially aggravated assaults in Rotherham.
Following Professor Alexis Jay’s revelation that 1,400 children were groomed, raped and sexually assaulted over 16 years while the authorities turned a blind eye there have been 26 hate crimes reported to South Yorkshire Police.
The month before the publication of the report, which claimed police and council chiefs failed to act because of sensitivities around the ethnicity of offenders, there were seven hate crimes reported.
Chief Inspector Richard Butterworth said extra police officers were patrolling the streets and speaking to community representatives to try to establish the extent of the problem.
He said hate crimes would not be tolerated by the force.
“We have noticed a rise in respect of hate crimes since the Jay Report, which does concern us and we are taking positive action in respect of this,” he said.
“The month prior to the report there were four incidents of racial harassment made, after the report there were 19. The month before the report there were three racially aggravated assault, since the report there have been seven.
“In several of the cases people have been charged.”
He said innocent members of the public were ‘enduring racial abuse in the street’ and said a taxi driver was attacked in Wath last weekend.
“It is completely innocent people being targeted,” he said.
“These are criminal offences - you just can’t shout abuse at innocent people who have nothing to do with the Jay Report.
“We have stepped up patrols in some areas to give reassurance to people.”
He urged victims to come forward and said support would be offered.
Call South Yorkshire Police on 101.