A Hindu family say they have suffered “several panic attacks” after being targeted in religiously motivated harassment.
The family, who wish to remain anonymous, moved to the UK from India more than 10 years ago and have lived in Birmingham for eight years with their young daughter.
In June, they held a housewarming party for their in-laws, but after displaying religious symbols on their front door as part of the celebration, local youths attacked their home.
In video doorbell footage shown to GB News, a young boy can be seen jump-kicking the front of the door.
WATCH HERE: Doorbell footage of the attack
The husband of the family said: “At 8pm we heard a loud bang and when we saw the video footage, we saw that someone had kicked the door with their foot.
“It happened a couple of times and that’s how it started.”
As the harassment continued, the family tried to confront those responsible, but they were met with the Islamic slur ‘Kafir’ – an offensive term directed at non-Muslims which was caught on the video doorbell.
Over the next couple of months, a further four incidents occurred, including when the family tried to visit the Ladywood Leisure Centre.
The family told GB News that four such incidents had occurred
The wife of the family said: “They were coming from the leisure centre, and they saw us and they just grabbed and surrounded us.
“This is the first time I experienced someone surrounding us and I just held my daughter’s hand and ran away.
“They grabbed him [her husband] and told him they’d punch him in the face.”
Describing how the attacks made her feel, she said: “I was just shivering outside and continuously crying.”
Her husband added: “We have had several panic attacks and my daughter did not want to sleep in this home. She slept at one of our neighbours because she was so terrified.
“That couple of months felt like we were living in a prison.”
The family confronting the youths
The incidents were reported to the West Midlands Police and in emails shown to GB News, they tell the family they have spoken to all the identifiable youths and their parents about this incident and that the youths admitted to the harassment.
The Police have also told the family they won’t investigate the incidents as hate crimes due to there being “insufficient evidence to prove the racially motivated comments beyond a reasonable doubt”. All of the doorbell footage has been passed on to the police.
Instead, the force is going forward with a ‘Community Resolution’, an out-of-court disposal order, which they say, “gives the children conditions not to attend the family’s home address again and not to approach them if they are seen out in public”.
The family don’t believe this is enough, telling GB News: “They [West Midlands Police] say we have to go with the ‘Community Resolution’ and it’s their choice, not our choice.
“The email was very, very, very rude and it felt like we are the criminals, not the victims.”
The criticism about the handling of the investigation comes as West Midlands Police was put into special measures last Friday by His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC).
Inspectors said the force is not carrying out investigations “which lead to satisfactory results for victims”.
In response to the harassment of the young family, a West Midlands Police spokesperson said: “Our officers have been investigating reports of harassment against a family in Birmingham for some time now.
“A detailed investigation was carried out, which included speaking to the victims and the young people responsible for the offences at length.
“The parents of the young people were supportive of police action, and we are satisfied that a community resolution was the correct step to take given the young age of the people involved and their history of non-offending.
“When taking the decision to move ahead with an out-of-court disposal such as this, we took into account the feelings and wishes of the victims, but overly criminalising these people would not be proportionate in this case.”
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