WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s foreign and interior ministers arrived in Britain Monday for talks about the security of hundreds of thousands of Poles there, following two recent attacks that left one Pole dead and three others injured.
Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski called the trip “an urgent visit,” and said he believed that less protection was being offered to Poles in Britain than to other nationals.
“Following a number of attacks, we want to check whether British services are doing their job and whether the Poles are under proper protection,” Waszczykowski said.
Since Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union, there has been an increase in reports of hostile acts against Poles.
Waszczykowski, traveling with Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak for talks with their British counterparts, will be seeking information about the investigation into last week’s death of a 40-year-old Pole, identified by British authorities as Arkadiusz Jozwik, who was beaten by teenagers in Harlow, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of London. The man was a Harlow resident since 2012 and worked at a meat processing factory. Six teenagers were arrested on suspicion of murder following the attack.
Two other Poles were beaten in Harlow Sunday, following a march in protest of Jozwik’s death.
Essex Police said they were investigating the killing and the subsequent assault in Harlow as potential hate crimes, but were looking at other possible motives.
Poland’s ministers plan to meet with Polish communities in London and Harlow to reassure them of the government’s concern.
Poland’s Embassy in London said that its consuls intervened in 15 recent incidents of xenophobia that included “arson, physical assault, hateful graffiti, and intimidation.”
In some places notes have been put through doors urging Poles to leave and a shed belonging to a Polish family was set on fire in Plymouth.
A spokesman in the British prime minister’s office said the Polish ministers will “receive reassurances from the Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary about how seriously we take the situation.”
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met with Waszczykowski on Saturday in Warsaw and assured that there was no room for xenophobia in Britain.