Leicester

Leicestershire councillor faces anti-Semitic abuse in letters

Bitter & Twisted micro-pub Image copyright Google
Image caption Councillor Michael Wyatt said he displayed several world flags in his pub as part of a gin festival

A man said he is "disappointed" police did not investigate anti-Semitic abuse he received for displaying an Israeli flag at his micro-pub.

Councillor Michael Wyatt got letters and messages online after putting up the flag as part of a gin festival in Coalville, Leicestershire.

He said the abuse started five months ago and "got pretty scary".

Leicestershire Police said the case was "not further progressed" after being reported but would now be investigated.

Liberal Democrat Mr Wyatt, who is not Jewish, displayed the flags at Bitter & Twisted to reflect worldwide gins he was selling.

He said letters demanded he take the Israeli flag down "because it was offensive".

He was also sent threatening messages on Facebook and abused in the pub.

"It started with letters about Jewish people, then saying I was a Hamas supporter and making comments about me defending Palestinians," he said.

"It's a nice town and I don't expect to see material like that through my post."

Image copyright Michael Wyatt
Image caption Mr Wyatt said was 'disappointed' that police had not recorded the abuse he had reported

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said a county council meeting heard the number of hate crimes reported to Leicestershire Police had fallen by 12%.

Raising issue with this, Mr Wyatt said: "I am the victim of a hate crime.

"No wonder figures suggest there has been a fall because the police are not recording them."

Mr Wyatt said he had taken his own action barring people and installing CCTV.

Leicestershire Police confirmed the case was reported in October last year but not followed up.

"This falls below what we would expect," said a force spokeswoman.

Mr Wyatt said he was "really disappointed" it had taken so long.

"Their apology means nothing," he added.

"They say they don't tolerate this sort of abuse, then when it's reported, nobody wants to know."

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