A man was caught on camera purportedly abusing a Polish woman at a local supermarket in the town of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England.
The woman, who has only been identified as Marta, claims she was conversing with her friend in Polish while shopping at an Aldi store when suddenly a man apprehended her, telling her to “start speaking English.”
Her two young children were also present at the scene.
“He then swore at me twice and told me to go back to my country, making an offensive comment about me being Polish. I asked him: ‘What's your problem? Would you like to ask anything else about my country?’” Marta told weekly newspaper, The Comet.
To that question, the man replied: "Just go back.”
Marta added the man stopped yelling after she informed the manager.
“He can think whatever he wants, but he can’t upset my family and my children,” she continued. “Maybe he’s quite scared and upset with everything happening with Brexit, making it easier for small-minded people to think such things.”
In the aftermath of the June 23 referendum Brexit vote, the U.K. experienced an uptick in xenophobic and racist hate crimes. According to the U.K.'s National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), the majority of attacks were carried out against Eastern European migrants, mainly the Polish community.
The situation took a turn for the worse last August when six teenagers in Harlow, about 20 miles northeast of central London, brutally attacked two Polish immigrants at a pizzeria. One of the victims died of his injuries four days after the assault. The other man was hospitalized.
“The whole situation is a terrible shock to our Polish community, especially that two children were also subjected to this nasty racist attack,” Piotr Malecki, a representative of Stevenage’s Eastern European Association, told The Comet.
Malecki added the man who hurled xenophobic abuse at Marta was identified and was reported to the local police department.
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