Open letter condemns 'abhorrent' hate crime against woman of Chinese origin in Chesterfield

Councillors and community organisations in Chesterfield have written an open letter condemning an ‘abhorrent’ hate crime against a woman of Chinese origin in the town.

Monday, 6th April 2020, 10:15 am
Updated Monday, 6th April 2020, 3:01 pm

As reported last week, the woman said she has been abused twice in Chesterfield since the Government’s coronavirus lockdown was introduced.

She reported that on one occasion two young men approached her on bikes and one coughed in her face.

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Derbyshire police have been informed about the incidents.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins slammed the racists and said he has informed police who are investigating the incidents as hate crimes.

The open letter states: “We were shocked and appalled to hear that a Chesterfield resident was verbally abused and coughed at while out jogging, simply because she is of Chinese heritage.

“We are not prepared to tolerate such behaviour in our community.

“It is irresponsible and abhorrent, especially at a time when we need to be supporting each other.

“On behalf of our organisations, we want to offer full support and solidarity to the family.

“We believe our society will only get through the current crisis by working together cooperatively and by not allowing any form of racism to divide us.”

The open letter has been signed by Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council and leader of the Labour group; Sharon Blank, cabinet member with responsibility for equality matters; Paul Holmes, leader of the Liberal Democrats group on Chesterfield Borough Council; Shirley Niblock, Liberal Democrats diversity and equality officer; Lisa Briddon, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Chinese Elders Group; Dan Botham, Chesterfield Interfaith Forum; James Eaden, Chesterfield TUC; James Lee, LINKS Council for Voluntary Service and Action Ltd; Lili Narag, Chesterfield Filipino Community Association; Paul King, Chesterfield Christians Together; Jayne Melland, Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Stand up to Racism; Lud Ramsey, African Caribbean Community Association; Mohammed Razaq, Chesterfield Muslim Association and Chesterfield Jamia Mosque; Farooq Saddique, Chesterfield Muslim Welfare Association; Barbara Sansome, North Derbyshire Refugee Support Group; Siobhan Spencer, Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group; Sushri Wells, Chesterfield Asian Association.

If people or organisations would like to add their names to this letter, email [email protected]