|code: 318524||Date: 2012/05/29 - 17:31||source: Lep.co.uk|
Racist vandals hit community base
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Hamaara Centre, at the rear of Castleton Road, Deepdale, Preston, was broken into and windows and furniture were smashed by the offenders.
The centre, which is run by Preston Muslim Forum, is used for English classes, youth clubs and mother and toddler groups.
The vandals are believed to have entered the premises using the rear shutter and they caused extensive damage including the smashing of windows and damaging the table tennis table, snooker table, storage cupboard and furniture and toys used by the mother and toddler group.
Paint was also sprayed on the walls and racist graffiti including the Nazi Swastika symbols was scrawled all over the walls.
Coun Ismail Bax, councillor for the Deepdale ward, is working with young people to tackle the issues related to anti-social behaviour around the centre.
He said “This was a very upsetting incident and the damage caused has been extensive.”
Vali Patel, from Preston Muslim Forum who runs the Hamaara Centre, said: “It breaks your heart to see this type of mindless vandalism.
“The only losers in this case are children, young people and women who use this centre for various positive activities.”
Coun Anis Faruki, councillor for the St George’s ward who lives in Deepdale, said: “The racist graffiti is the most worrying part of the whole thing as far as I am concerned as it demonstrates not just anti-social behaviour, but a lack of community cohesion as well.”
The incident took place between 2pm on Tuesday May 22 and 12.30pm on May 23.
PC Susan Proffitt from Preston Police, said: “This is a nasty crime in which a voluntary community centre has been deliberately targeted.
“The offenders have caused mindless destruction, throwing paint over the walls and damaging property that was donated by the local community.”
Crime scene investigators have been to the centre and CCTV enquires are underway.