Event to calm fears in town following race-hate incidents is hailed a success by mayor

The mayor of St Ives, Councillor Tim Drye, at the prayer and education centre in The Broadway. Pictu

The mayor of St Ives, Councillor Tim Drye, at the prayer and education centre in The Broadway. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

The mayor of St Ives has said that residents don’t need to ‘live in fear’ after an event was held to hit back against a spate of race-hate stickers that appeared around the town.

Councillor Tim Drye encouraged people from the town to join a community prayer event at the Jamia Masjid Mosque, after stickers saying ‘mass immigration is white genocide’ and ‘beware Muslim rape gangs’ appeared.

The stickers, which also said ‘diversity means no white people’, were placed on lampposts and pedestrian crossings around the town, as well as on doorways in St Audrey’s Lane.

The sticker appeared to be from an organisation called Hundred-Handers, a right-wing pro-white political group that operates primarily on social media.

The community prayer event, which was held at the mosque in Needingworth Road on March 1, was a chance to calm fears among people in the town after the stickers appeared on doors and near schools.

Cllr Drye said: “The event went really well, first and foremost the community at the mosque were really gratefully for the wide-ranging support they had received from different members of the community, both directly and also via St Ives Town Council and others. Some people were able to turn up and stand with them during their Friday prayers, the community laid on some very tasty food and drink afterwards too.”

The founder of the Huntingdon Muslim Community Association, Kimberly Lavery, has said that since the event, she hadn’t been made aware of any more stickers.

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Ms Lavery said: “I haven’t been made aware of any further incidents here, whether or not there have been any reported to the police I’m not sure. Or if any have been found and unreported, but not to my knowledge.”

Cllr Drye said he hoped the publicity around the event had helped reduced the level of concern in the town.

He added: “What is most important is to make sure that no one in St Ives needs to live in fear whatever the background or culture. In association with the local police, we are currently looking at simple ways we can quickly create ways that the local neighbourhood can respond and demonstrate our sense of community.”

Anyone with any information should call police on 101.

or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report.