RACISTS sprayed swastikas and a disgusting slur on a pavement just yards from a hospital.

The graffiti was discovered by a residents yesterday morning in Northern Approach Road, Colchester, close to the ambulance entrance of Colchester Hospital.

They reported it to Mile End councillor Martin Goss who contacted zone wardens.

The team cleared it off within an hour.

Mr Goss, who is standing as the Lib Dem candidate in the forthcoming General Election, hit out at the vandals.

“This is just abhorrent, disgraceful, disgusting behaviour,” he said.

“How anybody in my neighbourhood in Mile End could go around drawing swastikas and writing racist words on the streets is beyond me.

“There are not words to adequately describe how vile they are.”

Earlier this week, hospital chief executive Nick Hulme said he believes patients who refuse to be treated by someone of a different ethnic background should be denied treatment.

Mr Goss’s own election material had been defaced with references to Hitler and Nazism.

He said he feared hospital workers would have seen the graffiti.

“It is worrying how close it is to the hospital who have a multi-cultural workforce,” he said.

“I know a lot of the people working in the hospital live nearby and are proud of the work they do. It is just unbelievable.

“If the perpetrators are found, we will not hesitate to come down on them with the full force of the law and push for prosecutions.

“This is a hate crime - pure and simple.”

Police are also investigating after anti-Semetic graffiti was discovered in a supermarket toilet.

A swastika and the phrase “Nine Jews - CO9 crew” was spotted in the men’s toilet of the East of England Co-op in Weavers Court, Halstead.

Between September 2018 and August 2019, a total of 2,846 hate crime offences were reported in Essex, varying from verbal attacks to written and online communication.

This was an increase of 554 reports from the previous year.

n Other candidates declared to be standing in the Colchester seat for the upcoming General Election are Tina McKay (Lab), Will Quince (Con) and Jon Woods (Brexit Party).