Disgust at 'abhorrent' stickers spreading racial hatred in Sheffield

Scores of stickers containing messages of racial hatred have been reported to police after they were plastered around Sheffield.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 12:01 pm
CEO of Equalities and Human Rights UK Chrissy Meleady

The stickers, some of which included a nonsensical list of xenophobic language, conspiracy theories, and provocative rhetorical questions were left place around Sheffield city centre, including on on ATM.

Many were removed, although newer ones have been seen in Nether Edge and Spital Hill this week.

Chrissy Meleady MBE, CEO of Equalities and Human Rights UK, has reported the stickers to police.

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Barclays immediately removed the sticker when they were notified.

She said: “I find it abhorrent that people are targeting members of our Sheffield community. It’s a city that is egalitarian, that wants to not have people attacked and looked down upon.

“We have had a diverse community since the 14th century, a culturally rich community, which has been a benefit to the city.”

Chrissy explained that other stickers targeted the Irish, trans and Jewish communities, whilst others blamed all minority groups for the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bigoted stickers were posted on ATMs and lampposts across the city.

She added: “At the start of the pandemic, the Chinese community was targeted. This was the first time I have seen other minority groups being blamed for Covid.

"Since Brexit we have seen an increase in racism and discrimination and far right invasion on the city.”

A sticker left on an ATM outside Barclays bank in Sheffield city centre, included half-baked theories such as “Illegal U.K Africanization programme”, and “Weaponization of mass immigration”.

Chrissy reported the use of these stickers to South Yorkshire Police and requested they be investigated and logged as hate incidents.

She said that the force have dealt with it well and that Barclays removed the sticker immediately after being notified about it.

Chrissy said: “The community are coming together and saying not in our city. We are very blessed that people are not tolerating it.

“Sheffield people of all diversities have been jumping in, they won’t let division come in. This wasn’t happening in other cities.

"All ages were opposed to it, steel workers and former miners were taking them down.

"In the past people didn’t take things down, there’s a shift now and people are taking a stand.”

Chrissy added that, on behalf of Equalities and Human Rights, she wants to urge people who come across these stickers to report it to the establishments being targeted for immediate removal.

People should also report each incident, with photographic evidence and location, to South Yorkshire Police to investigate and review for patterns of activity and content.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “Like any organisation we are not immune to third parties sticking offensive material on our premises and when we are made aware we remove it as soon as possible. We apologise if any of our customers were offended and we will continue to remain vigilant for any further offensive activity.”