UK: Fishery owner bans Eastern Europeans from accessing lake
BBC online reports that the owner of a fishing lake in Great Britain has decided to prohibit people from Eastern European countries from accessing it because they allegedly have been stealing fish instead of releasing them once caught. Four months ago he posted a sign at the lake to that effect which has become the subject of a local police investigation.
"Over in Poland or wherever they come from it's a speciality that what they catch they do eat, but they've got to realize they're in England and they can't do it here. It's just cost me £10,000 to restock the lakes and I need to make my living," explained Eddie Whitehead of Napton-on-the-Hill in Warwickshire.
Police instructed Whitehead to remove the sign last week and are investigating whether he has committed racism. Whitehead, who is 75, rejects the charges of racism and insists on his right to ban access to the lake. "A lot of Eastern Europeans come in late afternoons… and they're taking the fish away,” he insists.
Teacher Elizabeth Kardynal, who has worked with the Polish community since coming to England nine years ago, said she was "saddened" by the sign. “I wouldn't say it was racist because you can turn one hatred into another without resolving the issue," she said. "This is a question of mutual respect and understanding.”
The British authorities estimate the number of immigrants to the island since 2004 at 1.5 million. That was the year a group of Eastern European countries joined the EU. About two-thirds of the immigrants are Polish.
About 6 000 Czechs have also migrated to Britain annually during that time. The actual numbers of people from Eastern Europe in Britain are difficult to determine, as they do not need official permission to visit and work there and many of them eventually return to their home countries.
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