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Indian workers attacked in England

The Indians and other foreigners living and working in Norwich are too afraid to go out at night because of an increase in racial attacks.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2006 11:21 IST

Indians who have recently moved to the eastern England town of Norwich for employment in major companies such as Norwich Union have recently encountered considerable physical and verbal abuse.

The Indians and other foreigners living and working in the city are too afraid to go out at night because of an increase in racial attacks. The Indian workers said they were being verbally abused and attacked and had been warned by the agency which employs them not to go out after 8 p.m.

Recently, two Indians in their late 20s working for Norwich Union were beaten up. They were walking down Magdalen Street at 10.30 p.m. when three white teenagers pounced on them and hit them while shouting, "You bloody Asians". They were taken to hospital with hand and neck injuries.

One Indian worker, who did not wish to be named, told the local media: "We don't feel secure. We are very upset by these crimes. This would not happen in India."

On another occasion, he was walking through the city with his wife and friends and five teenagers shouted "Bloody Pakistani". They ran off and called the police.

"I am too scared to walk in Prince of Wales Road and in Magdalen Street, especially after 10 p.m. I don't think people are aware this is happening. We are scared to go into the pubs. We don't find the people here very friendly, our neighbours don't talk to us and many of us want to go back to India."

Anne Matin, director of the Norfolk and Norwich Racial Equality Council, said the organisation was aware of attacks on Asians and other races.

Said Julie Benson, racial equality officer: "Foreign national workers who come to Norfolk will feel vulnerable and it's a pattern we've seen for many years. The companies who are contracting these workers need to take some responsibility for their well-being and allow them to have information about us and the hate crime unit."

Meanwhile, police figures show an increase in race-hate crimes. Since September 1, there have been 33 racially motivated crimes in the Norwich area, including 11 assaults. The police have made nine arrests.

Ten years ago there were 12 reported racist crimes in Norfolk. This year there were more than 400.