Spate of racist graffiti in Norwich 'not linked', say police

Abigail Nicholson

Police are now also investigating a Jewish Star of David which was graffitied outside a mental health support centre on Unthank Road, identifying it as a business with Jewish staff members. - Credit: The Village Orchard CIC

Incidents of racist graffiti outside a Norwich synagogue, a mosque and a business are not believed to be linked, say Norfolk Police.

The first incident happened on Thursday, May 13, when a vandal sprayed the Jewish Star of David outside The Village Orchard CIC, a mental health support centre on Unthank Road, identifying it as a business with Jewish staff members.

Abigail Nicholson

Police are now also investigating a Jewish Star of David which was graffitied outside a mental health support centre on Unthank Road, identifying it as a business with Jewish staff members. - Credit: The Village Orchard CIC

A spokesperson from the business said: "In 1933, the Nazis began a boycott of Jewish businesses. It was the first coordinated action taken against Jews by the Nazis. To tell people which buildings to stay away from, they spray painted the word "Jude" or the Star of David. Norwich, WE DO NOT CONDONE THIS!" 

Since the incident occurred, the racist graffiti has been covered with a colorful piece of art in the shape of a heart with the word 'love' on the inside.

The Village Orchard CIC

Police are now also investigating a Jewish Star of David which was graffitied outside a mental health support centre on Unthank Road, identifying it as a business with Jewish staff members. - Credit: The Village Orchard CIC

On Friday, May 14, members of the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue on Essex Street arrived for their morning prayers to discover obscene graffiti and a swastika daubed on its door.

Officers have since released CCTV images of a man carrying a spray can which was caught by the synagogue's security cameras at 12.26am, as investigations continue.

CCTV footage shows man suspected of spraying a swastika on a synagogue

CCTV footage shows man suspected of spraying a swastika on a synagogue - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

CCTV images of a man suspected of spraying a swastika on a Norwich synagogue

CCTV images of a man suspected of spraying a swastika on a Norwich synagogue - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

They show a man wearing a camouflage hooded top, dark coloured hat, and matching face cover, with light trousers. 

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And on Saturday, May 15 graffiti was found sprayed in yellow paint onto the pavement close to Norwich Central Mosque and Islamic Community Centre on Aylsham Road. 

Sirajul Islam, secretary at the mosque, said it has caused concern amongst his congregation, particularly as it came a year after an arson attack on the same building.

Sirajul Islam, secretary at the Norwich Central Mosque and Islamic Community Centre where fire damag

Sirajul Islam, secretary at the Norwich Central Mosque and Islamic Community Centre where fire damaged a storage area and the roof of a wash room. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The three incidents are still under investigation by police, with Supt Terry Lordan saying: "We don’t believe the incidents are linked at this stage."

Supt Terry Lordan is the new District Commander for Norwich Police.Picture: Nick Butcher

Supt Terry Lordan is the new District Commander for Norwich Police.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

He continued: "We recognise the impact on the victims and local community. We have increased patrols in and around the areas, and are still reviewing CCTV opportunities. 

"Anyone with any information should contact their local policing team, or Norfolk Constabulary on 101.”

How to contact police if you have information

  • Unthank Road: Contact PC Sarah Royall at Earlham police station on 101, quoting crime reference number 36/32735/21.
  • Essex Street Synagogue: Contact PC James McAvoy at Earlham Police Station on 101, quoting crime reference 36/32537/21.
  • Aylsham Road Mosque: Contact Sgt Shaun Quinn at Norfolk Police on 101 quoting reference number 36/32955/21.



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