UK – Springhill community center vandalized

Racist and antisemitic drawings were drawn on to the walls and the scale of the damage has shocked the local community

Accrington – A community center trustee has spoken of the ‘distressing’ scenes volunteers witnessed when they were called following a break in.

The Springhill Community Center on Exchange Street in Accrington was completely trashed on Monday (May 8).

Pictures show almost every part of the building vandalized with windows and doors smashed, furniture broken, paint emptied on to the floor and children’s toys damaged.

A Swastika was painted on the wall, and further antisemitic drawings could also be seen on another wall. Islamic children’s books were thrown on the floor, and there was also extensive damage to the offices.

Outside, the iron railings have been ripped off, adding to the massive amount of damage.

The center is managed by a group of dedicated volunteers who raise funds to help to keep it going.

Speaking today, Shamim Miah who is a trustee at the center helps to run the center alongside his wife.

He said the incidents had left many people scared, and he did not know who to turn too following the sheer scale of the damage.

“We are speechless. It is so distressing and demoralizing.

“We just don’t know what to do and who to turn too. This is a small community center, and it caters for the local community.

“We have a nursey which is run by someone else, and they had to tell the parents what had happened.

“Who in their right mind would do this? It is damage on a huge scale. We don’t even know where to start. You just cannot comprehend what would be going through someone’s mind to purposely go through each and every part of the building and do this.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The latest incident happened during the afternoon on Monday Bank Holiday and Shamim was alerted an hour later. He called the police.

Police had earlier arrested two people over an earlier break in over the weekend. This second break-in on the Monday led to the whole center being trashed.

Shamim said: “These incidents mean we are at a real risk of closing. It is so difficult running a center and then this happens.

“The racist graffiti is upsetting. We have Muslim children who attend the nursery.

“There is so much anger and hate that has gone into this.”

Mr Ali is a parent whose child attends the nursery.

He said: “I am so disappointed. These are lovely people who are trying to help the local community and do all of this work out of their own back. They are volunteers and this is so horrible to see.

“They put so much time and effort in and to see this was so heartbreaking.

“It is like a bomb site.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Lancashire Telegraph:

Police said they were called at around 3.15pm on May 8 to a report of burglary at Spring Hill Community Center. Two 17-year-old boys were arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary. Both have since been released on bail.

Regarding the earlier incident on Saturday (May 8) police said they were called at around 8.40pm on Saturday (May 6) to a report of a burglary at the same location

Officers found that a significant amount of damage had been caused to the centre and anti-Semitic graffiti had been drawn on the walls.

Following inquiries, on Sunday police arrested a 16-year-old boy, a 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl on suspicion of burglary. They have since been released on bail with a condition not to enter within 100m of the Spring Hill Community Center.

Det Chief Inspector, Tom Edmondson of Lancashire Police, said: “Our inquiries are continuing into this serious offense.

“We are working closely with community leaders and patrols will be increased in the area for reassurance.”

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