A SWEDISH mother has been sworn at and told to go "back to your own country" after being overheard speaking to her children in her native language.

The woman, whose name is withheld, was abused just yards from her home in York as race equality workers reported a surge in concerns over racism.

Rita Sanderson, of York Racial Equality Network, said numerous people had contacted them fearing an increase in racism.

She added: "We are a third-party hate-crime reporting centre and we would urge people to report anything to us, and obviously if there is an emergency to phone police."

Craig Tevendale, a friend of the victim, said he had been disgusted after being told about the abuse.

Mr Tevendale, whose children go to the same school as those of the Swedish mother, said the outburst following the EU Referendum, had left the woman feeling upset and angry.

He said: "There are many millions of good people who voted to take the UK out of the EU for sensible reasons they believe in.

"I respect their decision, and the political outcome it has led to.

"It is not only sad, but deplorable, that a criminal minority feel that they have been emboldened by the result to abuse others with brainless, racist bile which has no place in any civilised community."

Mr Tevendale has called on communities to stand up to other racist bullies and stop them if they witness anything similar.

He added: "York must continue to be a city characterised by respect, not a community where abusing and intimidating a mother and her children in the street - for any reason - is acceptable behaviour.

"This is the time to reassure our neighbours and friends that they are welcome and we value their contributions. I also hope that others will share the disgust of my family at this incident, and will intervene if they witness any similar incidents of bigotry and contemptible racism."

The abuse, which has not been reported to North Yorkshire Police, is one of a number of post-Brexit racist incidents the North.

Two teenagers abused an American man on a tram in Manchester yesterday and told him to "get back to Africa".

A video captured the moment the man was threatened with violence on an early morning tram as onlookers watched on in fear and disgust.