Race hate vandalism condemned

An incident of hate crime in Newcastle was condemned today by a senior city councillor.

Vandals left racist graffiti and caused damage to the Bahr Academy – an Islamic school – in the West End of Newcastle.

Cllr Habib Rahman, cabinet member for communities and chair of Safe Newcastle, said: “This was a vile attack which I condemn in the strongest of terms.

“Newcastle prides itself on being a tolerant and welcoming city where everyone can feel safe, so this criminal act offends us all.

“I have spoken to the headteacher and offered him the city council’s fullest support.”

Police were called to the Academy earlier today after someone gained entry and daubed the walls with racist graffiti and caused extensive damage to the interior.

Sergeant Adrian Oakes, of Northumbria Police’s Central Engagement Team, said: “We can confirm this incident has been reported to police and it will be treated as a hate crime.

“This type of mindless vandalism and blatant racism has no place in society and will be dealt with robustly by police.

“We would encourage any victims of hate crime to get in touch with police on 101 or through one of the many third-party reporting systems available online.

“Being you is not a crime and anyone found to be targeting a person because of who they should expect to be contacted by police.”

The city council and police urge people who are the victims of hate crime to always report it.

In November, the City Council commissioned a new service offered by Stop Hate UK, a national charity which works to challenge all forms of hate crime and discrimination.

Stop Hate UK provides independent and confidential hate crime reporting services for Newcastle for whether people are a victim of hate crime themselves, have witnessed or are a third party to a hate crime incident.

In the last two years reports of hate crime have increased both at a local and national level.  The number of hate incidents has fallen slightly but continues to remain at that higher level.

Cllr Rahman added: “We are living in uncertain times, but one thing we are desperate to retain is the idea that our city is one that is welcoming and open to everyone, regardless of who they are.

“Hate crime will not be accepted here and it is paramount that anybody who is discriminated against has a system they can trust to report it.”

Visit www.stophateuk.org/talk-to-us/ or call or call 0800 138 1625 to report incidents of hate crime. If you believe you have experienced a hate incident, even if you have no proof, report it.

For information and advice on how to report a hate crime incident visit Northumbria Police’s website at: https://beta.northumbria.police.uk/our-services/report-an-incident/hate-...