The owners of a South Tyneside carwash targeted in a suspected race hate arson attack say they refusing to be defeated.
The cabin used by Bubbles carwash, at the side of the Simonside Social Club in Winskell Road, South Shields, was set on fire at 1am today, while vandals daubed racist graffiti around the site.
The words also suggested that the businesses was funding the terrorist organisation ISIS
Keith Mensforth, who owns the club, had recently allowed Krosh Salihi to start up the business on site to help bring much needed revenue to the club.
However, he has vowed the carwash will be back up and running by the end of today.
The 54–year–old said: “I am absolutely sickened by this. I take pride in telling people how South Shields is such a multicultural town and how we never have this kind of stuff going on here.
“Racism is a personal hatred of mine, I can’t stand it. This car wash was set up two weeks ago to try and bring much needed revenue to the club, it’s a well known fact we have been struggling in recent times.
“So this wasn’t just an attack on Krosh it’s an attack on the people of Simonside and the people of South Shields.”
Some of the graffiti used derogative terms implying that Krosh was from Pakistan.
However, the 27–year-year is Kurdish and from Iran.
He said: “I was very shocked to see the words when I arrived at work, but I am not even from Pakistan, I am British Citizen, but also Kurdish and originally from Iran, I moved here 10 years ago.
“It’s very upsetting that someone would do this.”
Despite the damage to the carwash’s cabin both Krosh and Keith say the business will soon be back in action.
Keith said: “We will not be defeated by this by this and we will not back down. We will be back up and running, in reality all the yobs have done is burn down the rest room where Krosh and the lads had a cup of tea, we won’t be stopped.
“I just hope the rest of the community will support us and in turn help support the club.”
A spokesman for Northumbira police added: “Enquiries are on-going to establish the circumstances around the fire, however, initial enquiries suggest it was started deliberately and it is being treated as arson. No-one was injured in the fire.
“Extra officers are carrying out patrols in the area to offer reassurance to residents who may be concerned. “
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 36 241115 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.