Behaviour of these racists should never be tolerated

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Shop owner Nanda Vayanaperumal can’t understand the vile and racist abuse he has experienced since he opened his business. We share his bewilderment and are sure our readers will too.

This man has been targeted eight times in less than two months and the abuse he has suffered has been truly appalling.

All he is trying to do is bring a much-needed service to the people of Paulsgrove and earn a living. His hard work has been ‘rewarded’ with smashed windows, paint thrown through his door and verbal abuse.

Those responsible should be hanging their heads in shame and the rest of the community must now come together to support Mr Vayanaperumal.

Only then will these racists understand that their behaviour is not tolerated by any right-thinking member of society. Their actions are criminal and they deserve to feel the full force of the law for what they have done, as well as disgusted outrage from the rest of us.

We applaud this business man for the defiant stance he has taken so far. Why should he close his shop because of the senseless behaviour of others? But if it gets to a point where he fears for his own personal safety he will understandably have to think again.

New figures revealed by The News today show that Mr Vayanaperumal is far from alone in suffering this type of abuse – and that is something that should concern us all.

The increase in incidents reported to Portsmouth’s Racial Awareness Service and the number of hate crimes reported to the police are alarming.

It is right that the police should be recording the statistics in this way so that we can see when people are being targeted because of their race or religion.

We will only be able to take a stand if we know and understand what the issues are.

These figures shine a light on a worrying problem. While we know the majority of people are not to blame for the increase in these incidents it is vital that none of us stands idly by and lets racist abuse go unnoticed or unpunished. Together, we must stamp it out.