Far-right graffiti sprayed on Chadwell Heath shopfronts
PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 August 2016
Right-wing vandals have targeted three shops with English Defence League (EDL) and National Front graffiti.
EDL was found spray-painted on the shutters of Romford Delights takeaway and neighbouring 212 shisha lounge in Chadwell Heath on Friday, with the National Front’s logo found daubed outside the McColl’s convenience store in Dagenham on the same day.
Romford Delights assistant manager Ahmed Raja admitted that he was left shaken by the attack.
“After seven years of community service that’s what we get – I wanted to shut the shop,” the 40-year-old Pakistani said. “We never get anybody coming shouting at us in the shop or telling us to go home. They’re cowardly.
“People said we shouldn’t come here because it’s racist but we’ve never faced this kind of problem.
“I wasn’t expecting this. I’m worried for my staff.”
Ahmed, who was too shaken to be photographed, said he respects diversity and tells staff not to bring politics or religion to work.
“I don’t know why they targeted our shop – we’re part of this community,” he said. “We don’t want any problems. We just want to do our business, we’re working class. If somebody wants to stab me in the back and think they can serve this community better then they can give us the money and take the business.”
Paul Marston, 54, who has managed the nearby Disco Equipment store for 15 years, said that he was shocked that a fellow trader had been targeted.
“They’re nice people, we get on,” he said. “All the shopkeepers look after one another.”
Responding to the National Front graffiti in Oxlow Lane, a McColl’s spokesman said the retailer would not “tolerate vandalism in any form”.
The council painted over the graffiti at all the businesses on the same day, but Ahmed fears the culprits may continue their campaign of hate.
A council spokesman said: “The council has a number of ways to identify people who commit such acts and we will continue to make all our resources available to the police to ensure they are identified and prosecuted. There is no place in Barking and Dagenham for this kind of race hate behaviour.”