Two businesses in New Malden have been targeted by acts of racial hatred.
Café Mok and New Malden Gents Barbers became victims of discriminatory graffiti on Monday morning on New Malden High Street. The café and barbers were defaced with racist writing on their shopfront windows in the early hours on December 13.
The premises were vandalised with phrases graffiti reminiscent of now infamous signs used by shop owners and landlords in the 1960s to prevent certain groups from interacting with rented properties or business services.
Café Mok is a family run business, popular in the community for brunch dates and coffee mornings. Gents Barbers, another business situated on the high street, is praised by reviewers online for the professionalism and friendly nature shown towards customers.
Some people have taken to Twitter to voice their outrage at the hate crime.
Andrea Craig, 50, a managing director local to the area, tweeted images of the damage yesterday and said: “Unbelievable to see this in New Malden this morning. This is a hate crime [and] mustn’t be tolerated. Both shop owners are in shock & can’t believe it.”
Craig said she felt pain and disgust when she saw the graffiti that morning, “For me, it was a real shock to see these words that I just thought had no place in our world anymore… I just was really horrified for our whole area that someone had done this”.
The Kingston Green Party’s Twitter account also condemned the racial hatred: “This is not reflective of the borough nor especially New Malden. We condemn it utterly.”
Replying to Craig’s tweet, Kingston Council commented on the vandalism: “There is no place for this in our borough. We are so proud of the diversity of Kingston and everybody should feel safe and welcome here.”