Poland aims to curb xenophobia in UK with cultural festival

London (IINA) - In the wake of Brexit, poles have been targeted with xenophobia and violence in the UK, and in order to combat this phenomenon the Polish Embassy in London has launched a new cultural event aimed at promoting understanding between Poles and Britons.

Poland's government has announced that a new cultural initiative, Polish Heritage Day, will take place in various locations in the UK on May 6-7 - the weekend after Poland's Constitution Day.

"I hope this event will encourage Polish and British people to celebrate together because we should know each other better and the best way of integration is to know more about our neighbors," Arkady Rzegocki, Poland's ambassador to the UK, told AFP about the initiative. Poles are the largest minority community in the UK with around 850,000 members, however, they have been victims of rising xenophobia and violence since the June 2016 Brexit vote.

Polish Heritage Day is one means to limit such tensions by promoting better intercultural understanding. It is noteworthy that, the UK Home Office announced in 2016 that prosecutors will be encouraged to use tougher sentences against hate crimes in response to the nation's increasingly hostile environment since the EU referendum, Dolce Welle (DW ) reported.

It follows a sharp rise in alleged offenses and incidents reported to police in the weeks before and after the referendum last month, The Independent, reported. The Home Office said the action plan would set out steps to boost reporting of offenses and support victims. Prosecutors will be issued with fresh guidance on racially and religiously aggravated offenses and encouraged to pursue tougher sentences by applying to courts to exercise existing powers to increase penalties in hate-crime cases.

A Pound 2.4m fund will be set up for protective security measures at vulnerable places of worship, while there will also be targeted work to prevent hate crime on public transport and tackle attacks on Muslim women, as well as a continued emphasis on eradicating anti-Semitism.

Source: International Islamic News Agency