An Indian restaurant in a town in Essex has been the target of suspected hate crimes – including a vehicle driving through a store window, hoaxes and racial abuse of staff.
Essex Police are investigating a series of incidents between November 22 and 28 involving the Curry Cottage restaurant on the High Street in Burnham-on-Crouch.
Incidents reported to police include a vehicle being driven through a store window, racial slurs shouting over the phone to staff, and telephone hoaxes with rigged food orders.
Read more: The latest crime and court news across Essex
The force says it is investigating to see if the incidents are related and if they were primarily motivated by hate.
Superintendent Richard Melton, Essex Police Hate Crimes Officer, said: ‘Investigations into whether these incidents are both hate-related and hate-related are ongoing and if they are, please allow me to be clear: no one should be abused or targeted because of their race or religion.
âHate crime in all its forms is a priority for Essex Police and will not be tolerated. We are working hand in hand with our other partners in Essex to take a hard line against hate committed across the county, and we are working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to ensure that perpetrators of hate crimes are brought to justice.
âWe recognize the problems that hate causes and how it can escalate if not controlled by those who witness it.
Never be up to date with the latest court and crime news by signing up for EssexLive’s weekly Court & Crime newsletter.
It’s completely free and it’s a great way to make sure you never miss a great criminal story or court case.
Signing up couldn’t be easier – tap here, enter your email address, select ‘Essex Court & Crime’ and tap Save Changes. Or just enter your email address in the box at the top of this article and hit sign up.
“What starts out as low-level anti-social behavior can turn into hate crimes and this is especially damaging to tight-knit rural communities.”
Officers urge anyone with information on incidents at Curry Cottage to report them online at www.essex.police.uk or use the ‘Live Chat’ button to speak to an operator online between 7:00 a.m. and 11 p.m.
An Essex Police spokesperson added: “Please note that comments made on closed social media groups are not accessible to those investigating the crime, so please contact the police directly for any information.”
You can also call us on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Want the latest Essex news delivered straight to your inbox? Register here.