INCREASED incidents of hate crime and racism in the wake of the EU referendum result to quit Europe have been condemned by Teignbridge Council.

Vice-chairman John Nutley, chairing a full meeting of the council, told members that such outbursts would not be tolerated.

He said: ‘We recognise that this behaviour may be unsettling to our diverse communities - and they may feel particularly vulnerable and anxious at this time.’

He added: ‘We wish to reassure our communities that, whilst there have been no increased reports of such activity within the Devon and Cornwall police area, officers will continue to closely monitor the situation.’

He told the council: ‘I am sure all councillors will support the vital need to work closely with all agencies to promote the message that any instances of hate - such as abuse, harassment or violence - are completely unacceptable and will be dealt with robustly with a zero-tolerance approach.’

Cllr Nutley, who is also mayor of Ashburton, advised that any hate crimes should be reported to police at the earliest opportunity.

‘This will help the police both deal with any crime and help provide support to any victims,’ he suggested.

He added that Ashburton Town Council would not condone any form of discrimination.