16th Apr, 2021

'They need to be caught and dealt with' - Rubery business owner's anger at racist graffiti daubed on shop front

Tristan Harris 7th Apr, 2021 Updated: 8th Apr, 2021

A RUBERY business owner has spoken of her shock, anger and disappointment after racist graffiti was etched into the paintwork of her New Road shop.

Barbara Willis-Brown was busy preparing Scissor Stitch for reopening on Monday, April 12, and had her premises repainted so it would look its best for returning customers.

But just hours after the work was completed a Swastika, along with the words ‘Jew’ and ‘loser’ had been scrawled into the wet paint.

She told the Standard: “I could not believe someone would do that – I was so angry – incandescent with rage.

“Do these people not understand the connotations of the symbol – particularly combined with the word ‘Jew’ – to 1930s Germany?

“Or do they just not care?

“Either way, this person needs to be caught and dealt with – as well as criminal damage, it’s race hate crime and that is not how we are here – this is not what Rubery is about.

“I’m not Jewish but I still find it offensive.”

She added she had been in the village for more than eight years and nothing like this had happened to her before.

“It has been such a tough year, I thought I would use my last bit of money to have the shop done up ahead of the reopening.

“Being the last proper haberdashery in Worcestershire, people are excited about coming back – I’ve received so many calls from people asking when I’m going to be open again.”

The actions shocked the whole community with many villagers taking to social media to express their anger and disbelief and reaffirming it did not reflect Rubery or its people.

The crime also shocked Jewish councillor for Rubery Adrian Kriss who said he also received an email a few days after asking if he was ‘a practising Jew’, although he was unsure if that was coincidental.

He said: “I only hope the police, with the help of our CCTV monitoring officers, can locate the offenders and hold them fully accountable.

“I personally would like to be part of any restorative justice, which may be deemed appropriate in this case, should the offenders be located.

“I very much appreciated the call from Sajid Javid today, voicing his concerns about the incident.

“We as a society have to join together and show a zero tolerance to all forms racism, however it rears its ugly head.”

PCSO Stuart Taylor from Hagley and Rubery Safer Neighbourhood Team said officers were reviewing CCTV in a bid to catch the culprit and were stepping up patrols in the area.

“This kind of thing is completely unacceptable in this day and age and we want to catch those responsible.”

He urged witnesses or anyone with any information to call police on 101.

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