Scared to go outside

A SINGLE mum fears she is being targeted because of her race after her car was vandalised repeatedly.

Amber Bhatti, 29, said she and her son Usman, nine, were the only Asian people living in their council flats in High Street, Heckmondwike, and theirs was the only car that was being damaged.

She said: “We are the only Asian family here – why else would they do it? The people upstairs have got a nice car and nothing happens to them.”

The problems have been going on for 18 months but the latest attack saw all four of the tyres on her 2010 white Seat slashed and the paintwork scratched. Now she says she is too scared to leave the flat on a night in case she is threatened.

She said: “It makes you feel sad, scared and vulnerable. Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing say they don’t tolerate anti-social behaviour but actions speak louder than words – they are not doing anything about it.”

Ms Bhatti said she had asked for CCTV to be fitted, for a garage, or even to be moved to a different area. She said last year the wing mirror was broken off her car, and vandals scratched her previous car and wrote offensive words on the bonnet.

Coun Shabir Pandor, cabinet member for housing, said: “I am deeply sorry Ms Bhatti has had this experience and can assure her that both housing and I take all such cases very seriously.

“I have asked officers and our partners to investigate these very serious allegations and we will do everything we can to make sure that Ms Bhatti feels she is safe and secure in her own home.”

A police spokeswoman said: “The incident has been allocated to a PC who has made both phone and email contact with the complainant. Enquiries are ongoing and we will be monitoring the situation.

“We are aware of other incidents of damage being caused in the area and police enquiries were made at the time.”

Contact Spen Valley NPT on 01924 295 357 with information.