“Police are urging witnesses to come forward as they investigate a ‘hate campaign’ against families in the Sutton Park area of Kidderminster who have had racially offensive signs put up outside their homes and one of their pets killed.
Crimestoppers has now offered a £2,000 reward to help track down the offenders following an escalation in incidents of harassment directed at the families concerned in Tomkinson Drive and neighbouring Lister Road.
Detective Inspector Dean Jones of Kidderminster CID said there had been sporadic incidents over the past 18 months during which signs had been placed outside properties which were abusive, racist, and threatening. There had also been instances of criminal damage with paint thrown at brickwork and fluid substances poured over cars.
Overnight between Tuesday (29 May) and Wednesday (30 May) last week one of two pet rabbits which had only just been bought was found cut up in the garden of one of the families being targeted. The animal had been removed from the hutch where it was kept and after being killed it was left in open view of the house. Another racially offensive sign appeared in an alleyway near the same property overnight between Friday (1 June) and Saturday (2 June).
Despite high visibility police patrols the problem had escalated in recent weeks.
Det Insp Jones said: “These despicable and mindless offences amount to a hate campaign with no regard for the victims and their wider families – and that includes young children.
“Understandably it has caused considerable distress to the families concerned who are at a loss as to why they should be targeted in the way that they have been. They are desperate for us to get to the bottom of it and we are determined to bring the person or people responsible to justice.
“We are convinced that this is a local issue and that someone in the neighbourhood will know who is responsible for these crimes or has seen something that could help solve this case. I would urge them to come forward now and tell us what they know.”
To help the investigation the independent charity Crimestoppers has offered up to £2,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in connection with the inquiry. To be eligible for the reward information must be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via a secure online form which can be found on their website at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/.
Information can also be given to detectives at Kidderminster CID on 101.”