Posted on August 15, 2005

Asian Vigilantes

Barnie Choudhury, BBC, Aug. 15

An investigation for Today has found disturbing evidence that Asian youths in parts of Oldham are trying to create no go areas for white people.

Last year the police investigated record levels of racist attacks in Oldham.Of the 572 cases, 60% turned out to be white victims.

Pakistanis make up the majority on the Glodwick estate just west of the town centre. Some youths speak the language of racial hatred. It’s not clear whether this is bravado but their message is blunt . . . white people keep out.

Many openly admit to carrying out what they see as revenge attacks on white people as part of a tit-for-tat campaign.

One told us: “There are signs all around saying whites enter at your risk. It’s a matter of revenge. It’s about giving as good as you can take.”

Another had a six-inch scar running across his head. He said he had been attacked by a white gang.

“I got slashed by some whites so that I’m totally racist. I don’t like whites. It’s like this now, we go to a white area and we get done over. It’s like them coming here they get done over . . . it’s for your own good.”

This hardening in attitude is repeated across the town and has passed down to children as young as 10. Unlike their parents they will not tolerate being victims of racism.

Local white people are scared and many want to leave the estates but cannot.

“I was just walking with my dog around 10 at night and a group of Asian youths in their car, music blaring,threatening me like saying they’d kick me head in calling me white bastard, white scum. You’re frightened,” one person told me.

Many Asian youths say they take the law into their own hands because they have no confidence in the police.

The perception is that the police do not take racist attacks on Asian people as seriously as assualts on white residents.

Akbor Khan had his three front teeth smashed in a brutal attack by a white gang:

“I used to have a take away in Manchester. We used to get lots of people who used to order food but not pay for it. It used to take the police an hour to get there. We’d ring the police and they’d say we haven’t got the manpower. But if it happened to white people they would be there in 10 minutes,” he said.

Many Asian community leaders say the trouble is caused by a minority stoking up problems for the majority, who are law abiding residents.

They say they would happily support greater police action to clamp down on the trouble makers.

Greater Manchester Police deny the accusations levelled at them.

A special multi-agency task force has been set up in Oldham to tackle the growing number of racist attacks.