From the Mail on Sunday / by Esmerelda Weatherwax
A gang of Muslim youths launched an astonishing attack on vans being used for an immigration raid . . . In the ‘disturbing’ incident in East London last week, three vans marked ‘Immigration Enforcement’ and an unmarked silver car were badly vandalised.
More than a dozen officials arrived in Shadwell on Wednesday to round up three suspected illegal Bangladeshi immigrants from a shop. They returned to their Home Office vehicles in the next street to find the vans’ tyres had been sliced open and the paintwork scratched. The officers were then pelted with eggs before police were called.
Two days earlier, the Prime Minister made a landmark speech appealing for support from the Muslim community in the effort to combat extremism.
One witness said: ‘I saw about five or six youths come out of nowhere and run towards the immigration vans. They had kitchen knives in their hands and they slashed the tyres and scratched the bodywork. It all happened very quickly, then they ran off. I think they were local Muslim hoodies just doing a prank, but it’s not funny. It’s the sort of thing that will cause this area problems now.’
Residents also claim the vans had to be towed away after a local garage refused to help, although the garage denies this.
The attack was condemned by community leaders in Shadwell last night, but social media posts appeared to reveal a groundswell of support for the gang.
On Facebook, Nur Choudhury said: ‘Immigration Enforcement officers in Shadwell. Their tyres got slashed, valves taken and cars scratched. The local garage refused to sell them tyres or help them. To top it all off they got egged from the local tower block and a few landed direct on their heads. Welcome to Shadwell 🙂
When The Mail on Sunday visited the scene on Friday, one shopkeeper said: ‘The police deserve it. They are always down here hassling us.’ A worker at Bigland Tyres – which is opposite where the attack took place – last night denied claims they declined to help.
More than half the population of Shadwell is Muslim, according to the 2011 census.
According to the picture accompanying the Mail on Sunday article this took place in Chapman Street in Shadwell. I have been to Chapman Street more than once. I visted and wrote about it here in 2010 although I didn’t name the street. Obviously the standard of local behaviour has not improved.