DETECTIVES have released CCTV images of a man they would like to speak to in connection with an alleged incident of hate crime in Birkenhead.

Police were called to the News and Booze convience store on Whetstone Lane on New Year's Day following reports of the incident.

They say that at around 4pm a man entered the shop stole two cans of lager and when confronted by the shop assistant, verbally abused him and threatened him with violence. Some of the abuse shouted at the shop assistant was racist.

Although uninjured the shop assistant was left shaken following the incident.

Officers from Sigma, the Force's dedicated hate crime investigation unit, are appealing to anyone with any information about the incident to come forward.

DC Tony Jones said: "Incidents of this kind, whereby victims are subjected to racial abuse, be it physically or verbally, will not be tolerated.

"We are investigating a number of lines of enquiry and are keen to speak to anyone with any information that could help our enquiries.

"In particular, we would like to speak to the man pictured in the CCTV, or anyone who recognises him, as he may have information that could assist with the investigation."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Wirral Sigma team on 0151 777 2268 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111