Polish student ‘scared’ after racist graffiti in Portsmouth

Graffiti spray-painted near the memorial in Portsmouth
Graffiti spray-painted near the memorial in Portsmouth
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A POLISH student living in Portsmouth has told how a racist incident has left her ‘scared’.

Renata Antczak, 23, said spray-painted graffiti saying ‘dirty polish’ and ‘Ukip’ near the war memorial in Guildhall Square has made her worried someone will try and hurt Polish people.

Speaking to The News, she said: ‘I’m scared there will be someone trying to hurt us but on the other hand I’ve got so much support from my local community that I can’t really care less if someone doesn’t like me based on my passport. It’s silly.’

A University of Portsmouth law student, Renata, who came to Portsmouth aged 19 and lives in Southsea, said she respects the EU referendum result but believes it has triggered racist incidents.

She added: ‘I don’t agree with the result but I’m trying to respect that even if it was less than four per cent win for the leave camp, it’s still a democratic referendum and you have to respect this.

‘I will be vocal about the future of British youngsters and I will always raise my voice when the county I love makes a mistake.

‘It’s sad that the referendum triggered racist and xenophobic attacks but people have to remember this is not who you are, this is not what you stand for.

‘I’m not taking it personally even if they are trying to break me.

‘I think the referendum triggered things that people don’t really understand themselves.

‘They’re looking for someone to blame for the chaos, the lack of leadership, overwhelming uncertainty.

‘I think this is how they address their thoughts as they simply don’t know what the referendum was really about.’

Hampshire police said they had no report of the incident near the war memorial but said the county had not seen a spike in hate crimes.

A spokeswoman added: ‘As a force we have not seen a spike in hate crime related incidents within the county over the weekend.

‘We work very closely with all our communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and as a result of many years of engagement, our neighbourhood teams have built up strong links with our minority communities who know that we are there for them if they need us.

‘We will continue to be visible and accessible so that if someone feels that they have been a victim of a hate crime they know they can talk to us. ‘We would urge anyone who has been victim of a hate crime to contact us on 101.’