POLICE have launched a hate crime investigation after “upsetting” and “outrageous” graffiti was sprayed along the Aire Sculpture Trail near Baildon.
The mis-spelled graffiti – reading ‘Muslum scum’ – was reported to West Yorkshire Police and Bradford Council this afternoon.
The perpetrators also drew a Swastika, which was used as an anti-semitic Nazi symbol during the Second World War, and daubed a gate with the words ‘P*k* scum’.
Work is well underway to clean and remove all signs of the graffiti but it remains unknown who sprayed the signs along the path.
Many people remain shocked that the scenic spot, which is usually enjoyed by families, could be defaced in such a way.
Darren Parkinson, a Shipley town councillor, spoke of his disgust at the vile graffiti.
The latest incident comes just weeks after he personally cleaned up racist graffiti nearby, on the towpath by the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.
Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, he said: “I’m struggling for words.
“It’s sickening. To see that happen again, whether it’s the same people or not, it’s outrageous.
“It’s really serious, it’s highly offensive and very upsetting. People will be distressed with reading and seeing this – nobody should be exposed to that.”
He added: “I’m glad to see it has been reported to the police and it’s being treated as a hate crime.”
Cllr Parkinson said the perpetrators need to stop and warned: “This is not ok. I think they need to be educated. This is unacceptable, hateful and vile.
“I just hope Bradford Council, the police and the Canal and River Trust can work together to get the graffiti removed as soon as possible.”
West Yorkshire Police have recorded the incident as a hate crime that took place at Baildon Bridge on Otley Road in Baildon.
Enquiries remain ongoing. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the local Neighbourhood Policing team on 101 or use the live chat facility on the West Yorkshire Police site, quoting crime reference number 13200364772.
There’s been a spate of racist graffiti in the Baildon area this year with the same mis-spelled graffiti of ‘Muslum scum’ seen near the entrance to Ferniehurst Dell and nearby garages.
Pictured below, you can see the same spelling mistake and use of symbols before being removed.
Speaking today, MP Philip Davies (Shipley, Conservative) said: “This is absolutely disgusting. I hope the mindless idiots responsible are caught and brought to justice. They are certainly not welcome in Baildon.”
A spokesperson for Bradford Council said it is working with the Canal & River Trust, which manages part of the trail on the towpath, to remove the graffiti in a way that won’t damage the sculptures.
The council spokesperson said: “This is a popular trail with families and it is very upsetting to see that someone has defaced these sculptures in such an offensive way.
“We are working in conjunction with the Canal & River Trust, who manage part of the trail which is on the towpath, to remove this graffiti, but also do not want to damage the sculptures in the process of doing this.”