Great Britain

Manningham 'hate crime' attack causes £35k damage to new shop windows

THE windows of a newly-renovated building have been smashed up in an apparent hate crime causing £35,000 worth of damage.

The project at Express House, White Abbey Road, Manningham, was only completely a few days earlier, but those behind the project have been left devastated at the amount of damage that has been done to the prominent building.

One of the owners, Maan Ali, said he had been alerted to the vandalism attack at around 9am on Monday morning by the police.

The Bradford businessman said it was particularly frustrating as the renovation work had only just come to a close and tenants had been due to move in shortly.

Mr Ali told the Telegraph & Argus that a total of five shop units, a cafe and a first floor restaurant for the site were planned, with an Asian bridal shop having operated from the site for the past two years.

He said the remainder of the tenants had been due to move in this summer, but the coronavirus pandemic had pushed this back to September.

The windows had been installed shortly before the lockdown began, but the final rendering had only been done recently as building firms had been allowed to reopen by the Government.

"It was only two days ago that we had the final clean down and now most of the large windows have been smashed.

"It's very disappointing when we have worked so hard to make this building look beautiful as well as for the investors and people who are taking on the shops.

"We've tried to take a derelict building and make an investment of half a million pounds.

"And now this has happened.

"The police are treating it as a hate crime because this site has had previous issues as people haven't liked what we are doing with the building and the Asian businesses that are moving in."

He added that they had installed internal roller shutters following Bradford Council guidelines, but that this obviously had not prevented the majority of the windows being damaged.

They had been so concerned about the situation and the potential for someone to cause further damage at the unsecured premises, such as a fire, that someone had stayed at the building until they could get someone out to come and board up all the windows.

He added that it was particularly disappointing as businesses were trying to stay afloat during the coronavirus lockdown.

He described how the initial plans for the building had been to turn the derelict, former dairy into a beauty studio, cafe and shop.

But as the project got going, further investors were found and further plans were passed recently to turn the first floor into a dessert parlour.

West Yorkshire police confirmed they were investigating a report of criminal damage at the property of six glass windows, and that it was being treated as a hate crime.

The incident happened sometime overnight from 4pm on May 31, through to its discovery the following morning.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting crime reference 13200272811.

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