A Nottinghamshire church is reeling after falling victim to an act of vandalism. On the afternoon of Sunday 26th July, an unknown assailant entered the grounds of All Saints' Radford, daubing its walls with swastikas and upside-down crosses. The church's Peace Garden also suffered serious damage.
Long-time church warden, Lorraine Smedley, said the church had been left horrified by the incident.
"We are obviously distraught for this to happen," she explained. "I was at the church on Sunday and I was shocked to see it in this state. I rang the police straight away as soon as I saw the damage.
"It's dispiriting. We've put a lot of work into the church. I'm angry about the whole thing.
"I'm saddened anyone could do such a thing. We will be working closely with the police to try and track down the culprits. For whatever reason this person decided to attack All Saints. This is a community church, it's their church yard, so they've attacked not only the church, but the whole the community.”
The Rector of All Saints' Church, Reverend Christopher Harrison, said he was deeply upset that someone would want to show such disrespect for the church grounds.
"We have no idea as to what could have led to this incident," he said. "It is possible that someone with mental health problems may have decided that the church should be a target, but whatever the reason, such damage and vandalism are never acceptable."
In response to the crime, neighbourhood policing inspector Riz Khan said: "Hate crime is not acceptable. We all, as members of society, should do what we can to prevent it – don’t be a bystander.
"We take all hate crime seriously and have a zero tolerance approach. If anyone saw anything suspicious in the area please get in touch.
"We were called on Sunday afternoon, but we believe the actions happened on Saturday evening. We have been busy trying to gather as much evidence as part of our enquiries.
"We are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious yesterday. It was obviously in broad daylight, so hopefully someone will have some information to help.
"We have stepped up patrols in the area to reassure the local community.
"If you do have any information, please call 101, quoting incident number 413 of 26 July 2020."