Residents of Essex and ex-pats based all over the UK have been celebrating after today’s announcement that abusing someone about their Essex origins will be officially recognised as a HATE CRIME from 2018. A spokesperson for the UK Racial Equality Commission relayed the news to an excited crowd in the middle of Chelmsford earlier today, and he made it clear that the upcoming law change will apply to all physical, verbal and emotional acts that are intended to cause offence to someone because they are from the county.

UKREC spokesperson Ahmed Jones said: ‘For as long as I can remember, the people of Essex have been forced to put up with ridiculous and offensive stereotypes that have been irresponsibly reinforced by the media – today is a fantastic day for this modern and forward-thinking county. 21st Century Essex women have had to endure constant allegations that they are all white stiletto-wearing ‘easy lays,’ and believe or not there are some men in Southend, Colchester and Basildon who don’t own a shellsuit and drive a Ford Cortina. From the 1st January 2018, using hurtful phrases like ‘Essex Slag’ and ‘Tattooed Sovereign Chain-Wearing Staffie Terrier Owner’ could carry a prison sentence of up to ten years. It’s unacceptable to make fun of someone’s skin colour or religious beliefs, so why should people be allowed to mock an individual just because they cannot pronounce the letter ‘T’ in the middle of a word?’

Natalie Furrock from Grays admitted that she is delighted with the news, but she also thinks that the new laws need to go further. She said: ‘Although all my friends at uni assume that I am thick because I was born east of Upminster, Inter-Essex abuse is a far more serious problem in my opinion. My friend from Colchester gets some horrendous abuse from the rest of her family in Basildon as they seem to think that she is some kind of carrot-crunching bumpkin, and the people of Leigh On Sea treat everyone from Westcliff like they just arrived on some kind of Southend Borough Community Outreach Project.’