EDL graffiti sparks race hate fears in Welwyn Garden City

RACE hate thugs are feared to be using an alleyway in Welwyn Garden City as a haunt, after extremist graffiti tags were found daubed on walls.

The alley, at the rear of the row of shops in Woodhall parade is strewn with graffiti, including evidence of support for extremist protest group the English Defence League (EDL), which has been branded a racist organisation.

Martin Smith, a national officer for campaign group Unite Against Fascism, grew up in WGC and slammed the graffiti.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I have a close affinity with the town.

“WGC has always been a town where people of different races and faiths live and work side by side.

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“The community has always been united.

“The last thing the town needs is a racist organisation like the English Defence League coming here to promote racial hatred and violence.”

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He called for the ‘tags’ to be scrubbed off immediately and added: “All good people of the town should stand together and say the EDL are not welcome here.”

The area has also become a hub for yobs according to Woodhall traders.

A shopkeeper spoke of the menace and called for Pcso patrols to take place in the area at night, not just during the day.

The shop owner, who did not wish to be named, said: “You get kids hanging around the alley at the back drinking and smoking.

“I did tell the Pcsos; they’re here in the day but they’re not at evening time.”

He said problem youths regularly came into his shop and loitered until he tells them to go away. He added: “Then they get around the back [of the shop] and climb onto the roof.

“I don’t want to lose customers because at evening times they [youngsters] hang around and scare my customers away.”

Another former trader said: “It’s terrible.

“They are always hanging around and trying to break into the back of the shops.”

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