Friday, 7 June 2013

Swastika Painted on Door of Bank Chambers

A swastika was daubed on the front door of the old Bank Chambers in Green Lane on Tuesday (5th June). The symbol which was painted backwards, was spotted and reported by several people and was painted over within hours, leaving a large green square on the door of the building.

The incident occurred only a day after a Mosque was burned down in North London and the police are treating the criminal damage as a 'racially motivated' hate crime.

As most readers will know, this vandalism comes in the wake of a new planning application currently lodged with the Council to convert the old Bank Chambers into a Mosque. The previous application was turned down unanimously by the Development Control Committee after Council officers recommended it be rejected due to the increased traffic and car parking issues it would bring to the area.

While there is once again strong opposition to this latest application, most people are still concerned about the increased traffic and car parking problems that such a development would bring. The applicant has claimed that worshippers will not be allowed to use their cars but as there is no way this can be enforced, many people feel this is a claim with no substance as worshippers can choose to use their cars regardless.

Unfortunately the applicants haven’t done themselves any favours in the trustworthy department as they continued to use the building as a Mosque without planning permission - requiring a Planning Enforcement Notice to be served on them. They also originally denied planning to turn the building into a mosque after they first purchased it, even though they had a website at the time calling for 'Muslims locally and internationally to donate generously towards building the House of Allah' in Worcester Park. The website was taken offline within hours of being contacted by this blog.

However while these things may be legitimate reasons to deny a planning application, they are not excuses for hate crime.

Regrettably a minority of comments of a more racist nature have also been made which many people find offensive. These make it more difficult to keep the focus solely on the planning issues and also make it easier for others to claim that everyone who opposes the development is a racist.

This blog and undoubtedly the vast majority of people in Worcester Park are appalled by the racist behavior shown by a few people and particularly this attack. The recent terrible events in Woolwich have seen a rise in racist attacks even though Muslims and Imams across the country have denounced the perpetrators as evil and not having anything to do with Islam. There is no need or cause for such attacks and we don’t want to see similar behaviour here in Worcester Park.

The Metropolitan Police will not tolerate any hate crime against anyone and this is being investigated robustly. They would like to speak to anyone with any information and ask people to call 101 or email Sergeant Ashley Bennetts at ashley.bennetts@met.police.uk. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Sergeant Bennetts has spoken to the owners and the two gentlemen currently staying in the premises. They are happy with police actions and appreciate the implications of the incident but are satisfied it was just a local idiot and are not particularly concerned about any further incidents. They are happy that the local Safer Neighbourhood Team pass their building regularly and believe that most people in Worcester Park would find such hate crime as unacceptable.


10 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Spud said...

mindless - and plays right into the hands of those who are adamant that the objections of the prosposed mosque are racially motivated.

mulder said...

In the world of conspiracy whose to say they didnt do it themselves?

guest said...

this building has water pouring out the side of it into the Alleyway, and on a dry day too...
I just don't see why the Owners keep on with trying to turn this into a Mosque when it clearly is not wanted by the vast majority of people who live in the area, other than to continue to fan the flames of various secular issues. Basically, its being pursued endlessly purely to annoy non-Muslims, and is very imflammatory. Christian churches are not even allowed in Saudi Arabia !

dt said...

So what does that have to do with this question? This is the UK not Saudi Arabia, it is also not Greece where you can't build a Mosque, even though that is a contravention of EU rules.

Simon said...

Its Worcester Park...On a main road..

Jacob Curran said...

They did it themselves cant u see through there campaign

GM said...

The vast majority of people in the area also wouldn't make use of facilities for other minority groups, because by definition the vast majority of people don't fall into minority categories. Using this as an excuse not to permit spaces for minority groups is classic discrimination and bigotry, I suppose we should just be grateful you're willing to be so blatant about it.

I'm also not sure what Saudi Arabia has to do with anything, unless you're so ignorant that you think all Muslim countries are like that. In any case, Saudi Arabia also doesn't allow the consumption of alcohol, women to wear sleeveless shirts, sex outside of marriage... Worcester Park is not like Saudi Arabia, and I for one prefer it that way!!

Will said...

I wonder, was it at 45*? If not, it proves how stupid/ignorant they are in not knowing the origins of such a symbol!

Dave said...

The "Epsom Guardian", distributed in parts of Worcester Park, has its own agenda regarding the proposed mosque.

Last year, despite reporting on the death of Oscar the cat and many other local events and incidents, it singularly failed to say anything whatsoever about the proposed mosque and the local objections. Until that is it was prompted to send a reporter to the Public Meeting.

This year they have been following suit, completely ignoring the re-application, the large number of "comments" (over 400 by yesterday, still with a week to go), the petitions, and the postings to this blog.

Until this week that is when a headline announces
"Red Swastika on mosque".

An inflammatory headline if ever there was one - it's a derelict building not a mosque!
The text, whilst referring to the 'proposed mosque' being painted by vandals (they evidently know there was more than one), is mainly concerned with conflating this act of stupidity with much more important events elsewhere.

Either they don't know what's going on in the area they purport to cover, or they are deliberately not reporting an ongoing event of considerable local importance. Why?

Perhaps the "Sutton Guardian" is covering events in a less biased manner - bias should never be part of the reporting in any local rag.

Green Lane User said...

It seems Epsom Guardian's reporting errors and local story omissions certainly point to an agenda. Few people saw the reported swastika and of those, it seems nobody else was aware or had concluded that more than one individual was responsible for it.

In his efforts to solve this crime, I wonder if it would be worthwhile Sergeant Bennetts enquiring whether Epsom Guardian had staff posted in the Green Lane area on Tuesday 5th June, who had been tasked with manufacturing a politically beneficial headline?

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