Cheshire Police is providing reassurance to minority communities that hate crime won't be tolerated after reports of racial incidents elsewhere in the country following the Brexit decision.

There has been no upsurge in reported hate crimes across Cheshire in the aftermath of the EU referendum decision to leave the European Union.

But the constabulary has moved to remind everyone that hate crime is a criminal offence and to reassure minority communities that it will take action when appropriate.

This message comes after the Polish embassy in the UK said it was shocked at incidents of xenophobic abuse directed at members of its community in the past few days.

And at the weekend a man was charged with two racially aggravated public order offences after the far-right English Defence League protested outside a mosque in Birmingham.

Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Boycott

Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Boycott, who leads Cheshire Constabulary’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “In my experience here in Cheshire we treat all communities with tolerance and respect and long may that continue.

“But in light of some incidents we’ve seen in other parts of the country, I want to make it clear to our minority communities that we’re here for you, and we don’t accept racism or threats to those because of the colour of their skin or where in the world they were born. That’s hate crime, and we take firm action wherever we come across it.

“There are a number of ways people can report hate crimes – directly to the police, via the TruVision website, or through reporting centres in most large towns. But if you feel at threat you should call us on 101, or in an emergency on 999.”

Police say victims will be taken seriously and dealt with sensitively. Alternatively, information can be left anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.