Community Shows Solidarity with King Street's Polish Centre

Politicians from all parties also visit centre following 'hate crime' attack

The local community has rallied round and shown its support for Hammersmith's Polish Social and Cultural Centre, after a graffiti attack on its doors on Sunday 26 June.

Parents and children from two local primary schools, Brackenbury and John Betts visited the King Street Centre on Tuesday, with many of the children carrying cards decorated with hearts to show their support.

The foyer of the centre, which has been at the heart of Hammersmith's community since 1967, has also been filled up with cards, messages and flowers handed in by well-wishers.

Visitors to the centre have included Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter, who said he was delighted by the many gifts and good wishes of local residents, Communities Minister Baroness Williams and Minister for Countering Extremism Lord Ahmad and Labour deputy leader Tom Watson and leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was joined by Polish Ambassador Witold Sobków as he said: " We have come here to show solidarity with #PolesinUK. Hate crime is not acceptable."

Liberal Democrat leaders Tim Farron and Caroline Pidgeon are expected to visit today.

Ambassador Witold Sobkow said: " I am grateful to the British public for all messages of solidarity."

And the Polish Centre tweeted a message to local schoolchildren @postLondon: " Big thank you for your amazing support today. It is much appreciated."

Meanwhile police say they are continuing to investigate a hate crime incident which took place in the early hours of Sunday morning.

They say officers were called to King Street at 10.25am on Sunday, 26 June after offensive graffiti was daubed on the front of the Polish Social and Cultural Association.

Police say the single male suspect involved has been captured on CCTV at the scene at 5.22am, though the footage has not been released the to public.

It shows him approach the location on a pedal cycle and stop outside before he is seen to spray yellow graffiti on the doors of the community centre. He then makes off on his bike.

He was wearing a orange jacket and grey hoodie, but no further description of this suspect is available at this time. 

This incident is being treated as a hate crime due to the racially aggravated nature of the criminal damage.

PC Jenny Doe from Ravenscourt Park Safer Neighbourhood Team said: "We have an excellent rapport with this Polish community Centre and have been very clear in terms of how serious we take such incidents of hate crime.

"High visibility foot patrols have been stepped up in the area and we are doing everything to reassure them and other local community groups in and around the area that we are here and will deal with any allegations of hate rime robustly and efficiently."

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to contact Ravenscourt Park SNT on 0208 246 2702 or by via 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via quoting Cris reference 6013984/16.

June 30, 2016