Thursday 4 April 2019 11:18 am

Police warn MPs and campaigners not to inflame Brexit tensions

Politicians and campaigners must be careful not to “inflame tensions” over Brexit, a senior police chief has warned.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said it had ramped up no-deal preparations to cope with potential protest, crime and emergencies, with 10,000 officers across the country ready to respond to national emergencies.

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The UK’s policing organisation also warned that the level of hate crime is higher on average than it was before the 2016 referendum, although it has dipped from the “significant spike” immediately after the Brexit vote.

NPCC chair Martin Hewitt said: “There are strong views on EU Exit and often loud and passionate debate.

"There’s a responsibility on us all to think carefully and be temperate in how we communicate so we don’t inflame tensions.”

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Police have also been working to protect MPs as they face increased abuse and harassment related to Brexit, and to ensure communities are prepared for potential delays in and around ports and shortages of commodities.

Commander Adrian Usher, who leads MP security at the Metropolitan Police, said: “In recent weeks, police forces have contacted their local MPs to ensure they have appropriate, proportionate and effective security advice and security arrangements.”