Staff at a Perthshire charity stepped in to diffuse racial tensions in Coupar Angus shortly after lockdown measures were announced.
Officers at PKAVS received complaints about Polish and Romanian workers from the town’s Two Sisters chicken factory moving around in large groups and not socially distancing shortly after government guidance was formalised.
PKAVS staff, who have been making around 2,000 phone calls a week to residents of ethnic minorities to offer support, say they had been approached by individuals and community groups.
The team quickly put together leaflets explaining the rules in place and sent staff who speak both languages to the town, communicating the rules and concerns before anything boiled over.
Boss Paul Graham says having a proactive approach has been key to keeping hate crime down during lockdown.
He said:”We worked with the council’s Safer Community team after receiving reports of people going around in groups that were obviously not who they were in a household with.
“Some people were focusing their concerns on the group and nothing adverse has come back to us since.
“It was all down to a lack of communication. We do what we can to support people so we sent some leaflets up.”