ESSEX Police has stated it is treating Islamophobic stickers put around Rayleigh as a hate crime.

The Echo initially reported on Monday how a number of controversial stickers had been posted on lampposts around the village. Essex Police’s initial statement did not brand the incident as a hate crime, but on Monday the force stated it was being treated as a hate incident.

At least a dozen of the posters, carrying a white supremacist logo, have gone up with the message “Islamists not welcome”, and “stay back or we will kick you back”.

They appear to show a picture of a knight on a horse with a lance, chasing two figures holding an AK47, with one dressed in a Burka.