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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Bid to cut 'new strand' of racism
People leaving Poland
There has been a major influx of foreign workers to the region
A move has been made to try to tackle an increase in a "new strand" of racism in south west Scotland.

Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service (Dagcas) has established a unique minority communities service development project.

It is particularly aimed at eastern Europeans being subjected to racial abuse in the workplace and in public.

Development officer Sam Hamad said such incidents only increased the "feeling of isolation" among such immigrants.

He said it was vital to promote understanding of the new communities being formed in the area.

That is the message - please think before you do it, you are hurting a human being
Sam Hamad

"It is a new strand of racism - just by being a foreigner you are being subjected to abuse," he said.

Mr Hamad cited the example of seven Polish people who were drinking in a pub in Dumfries and Galloway and were talking their own language.

They were approached and told to speak English.

"That is considered racist but when the police arrived it was not noted as a racist incident," he said.

"But it can lead to this feeling isolation.

"That is the message - please think before you do it, you are hurting a human being."

The latest figures show that the eastern European community in Dumfries and Galloway is now about 3,700-strong in a total population of 148,000.

A Dagcas report showed there were significant "clusters" of immigrants in Dumfries, Annan, Stranraer, Garlieston, Newton Stewart and Wigtown.

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