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Police write open letter vowing to keep public safe in wake of post-Brexit hate crimes

There has been a fivefold increase in hate crimes in the UK since the referendum result. Credit: PA

Police have written an open letter reassuring the public they will do everything they can to keep them safe after a surge in hate crimes following the Brexit vote.

More than 300 attacks were reported in the days after the EU referendum - the equivalent of 47 per day, according to the National Police Chiefs' Council.

These included an 11-year-old Polish boy being given a "leave EU' card, EU nationals being attacked and mosques and halal shops being targeted.

A letter penned by Avon and Somerset Chief Constable spoke of the force's "dismay" at the stories of hate crime reported nationally and in their local area.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said they had "taken the unusual step to reassure our communities we will do everything to keep them safe".

Thousands took part in a anti-Brexit protest at the weekend. Credit: Reuters

They added: "Whatever your thoughts on the result, we hope you find the injustice and devastating effects of this as abhorrent as we do.

"There can never be any excuse for hate crime in any shape or form and this criminality will not be tolerated."

It went on: "We value the rich, multi-cultural diversity of the cities, towns, villages and rural communities where we live and work and the people that make them, and we know this is true of many of you.

"We would like to think that people will intervene to challenge, condemn and report abusive behaviour.

"We want to reassure victims that those behind it are not representative of Britain.

"In Bristol, we have seen several shopkeepers hand out flowers to welcome migrants living and working in the city. Elsewhere, school children have shown random act of kindness.

"Let's not react to the current climate but continue instead to be inclusive, accepting, welcoming and celebrate the difference that makes our communities so rich rather than letting it divide us.

An estimated 35,000 people took part in an anti-Brexit march in London at the weekend.