A racist flyer which appears to suggest that all refugees are rapists has sparked outrage in South Tyneside.
The A5 stickers – from a group called the Northern Patriotic Front – feature the words, ‘Attention! ********* not welcome’ and ‘Stay away’.
It also features a drawing of a woman running from a mob armed with knives.
Concerned South Shields resident Stephen Sullivan reported the poster to police after spotting it stuck to a telephone exchange box outside South Tyneside District Hospital, in Harton Lane, South Shields.
The 29-year-old said: “I was really offended when I saw it. Everyone has their own views but I don’t think an attitude like this is shared by people in South Shields, which is home to people of many different cultures.
“Refugees are fleeing their own horrific circumstances then they come here. I wouldn’t want them to think that this is the way we all think.”
Stephen tweeted about the poster and South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck replied to say she was glad he’d reported it.
Shah Lalon Amin, who runs the Refugee Aid Network, branded the posters “disgusting”.
The 35-year-old businessman, from the Lawe Top, South Shields, said: “This group is using refugees as a scapegoat and creating false tension. It is trying to create tension when there is none, especially in a town like South Shields, which is known for being culturally diverse. It’s disgusting.
“Suggesting that refugees are going to come here and victimise women is scaremongering and not right. These people are fleeing persecution.”
These women, men, and children and fleeing persecution in their own countries and instead of giving them sanctuary they’re being criminalised and demonised.Shah Lalon Amin, Refugee Aid Network
When contacted by the Gazette, a spokesman for the Northern Patriotic Front said he didn’t know how the poster had ended up in public view.
The group has a PO Box in Sunderland.
The man, who refused to give his name, said: “They’re not intended for fly-posting. They are for the personal use of group members, so there’s nothing we can do about that.
“It doesn’t suggest all refugees are rapists, they’re stating a simple fact.
“I don’t want people to be offended but if people can’t read and they can’t understand it, there’s nothing I can do about that.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “We are aware of one sticker that has now been removed and enquiries are ongoing.”