1. ITV Report

'Zero' Tolerance to hate crime

The mosque in Gillingham Photo: Meridian

Three people have been charged with various hate crimes related offences in Medway since Wednesday 22nd May - the day a soldier was murdered in Woolwich in south east London.

They are;

  • Andrew John Grindlay, who's 45 and from Rochester, appeared before Medway magistrates on Friday 24th May after a religious building was damaged on Canterbury Street in Gillingham. He was charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage and burglary. Andrew Grindlay has been bailed.
  • A 27-year-old Gillingham man has been charged with a public order offence and threats to commit criminal damage. He was arrested on 23rd May in Medway in connection with an assault on the High Street. He was charged the following day and has been remanded in custody.
  • An 85-year-old woman from Chatham has been charged with a public order offence in Canterbury Street, Gillingham. She was arrested on Friday 24th May.

Police are also continuing to question an incident outside Folkestone Mosque on Foord Road South on Thursday 23rd May in which a small rock was thrown at the door of the building while worshippers were inside. It was then reported to police four young girls had walked past and made racist comments.

Kent Police are taking a zero tolerance approach to any incidents of religiously or racially aggravated attacks, or hate crime, in the wake of the Woolwich murder.

"We have made it clear what our approach will be to any reports of crime or disorder following the murder in Woolwich. We will be continuing that approach and will act swiftly to bring anyone into custody that is suspected of committing any offences.

“Kent Police has not received any intelligence to suggest any direct threat to anyone living in the county, but additional resources will continue to patrol to provide a presence in potentially vulnerable communities.

“Community Liaison Officers as well as neighbourhood teams have been in regular contact with community groups to keep them updated on any policing issues and to provide reassurance.”

“We have good working relationships with a number of community groups all over the county and we are working with these, and are attending community events and places of worship regularly.”

– Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge, Kent Police