Remember muslims are just 2% of UK

Date: 9/29/2003


Remember muslims are just 2% of UK

Author: Gemma Berry


Date: September 26, 2003


A gang of youths attacked a 13-year-old girl as she played with a toddler on swings in a Keighley park.

As the 15-strong gang ordered her out of Lund Park, they tipped up the pram with the three-year-old strapped inside.

Police who were called say they are treating the attack as a racially motivated incident.

This week the mother of the girl,who the Keighley News has agreed not to name, said: "The children were playing on the swings when a group of about 10 to 15 Asian (read MUSLIM) teenagers approached them.

"They started shouting racial obscenities at them, telling them to get out of the park.

"As my daughter put the little girl into the pram to leave, the gang tipped the pram upside-down with the toddler strapped inside."

The attack was reported to Keighley police and the 13-year-old has been invited to the station to look over some photographs.

But the worried mother is concerned by the apparent lack of action being taken after the attack.

She said: "Nobody appears to be doing anything about the trouble in the park because they are all frightened about the come-back.

"My daughter is now terrified of even going to school."

Nigel Cawthorne, community safety inspector for the Keighley police division, said: "We are treating this particular incident as racially motivated. It is a main priority and we are taking it very seriously."

He added: "Keighley division's Problem Oriented Policing Team (POP) is working hard to tackle the problem of nuisance youths in Lund Park.

Holycroft Action Group is a local group which has been set-up by the residents to tackle problems in the area.

"It involves the Keighley Anti-Crime Partnership, councillors, schools and youth and community groups.

"Police community support officers and park rangers, along with the POP team, are also active in the area and frequently carry-out covert and high visibility operations in the park to reassure the public.

In the past Lund Park has been labelled a no-go area after a spate of attacks and anti-social behaviour.

A year ago a community group was set-up to organise entertainment and events in a bid to encourage people back to the park.

Chris Huggins (pictured), of Lund Park Community Group, said: "We all like living here and we were fed-up of everything being bad news. So we set-up the group.

"It is a small minority of people who are trying to spoil things, but they won't stop us running events in the park.

"The majority of people around here, from all sections of the community, think this is a good place to live and bring up children in.

"We are working to ensure the park can be used and enjoyed by everybody."