Huge spraypainted swastikas and dozens of anti-Muslim flyers in South Shore are part of a hate campaign being investigated by resort police.
Police are looking into the racially-aggravated symbols and posters, which have been daubed on buildings and stuck to lamp-posts in the Lytham Road area.
Officers have today vowed to catch those responsible for posting and producing the stickers, which have spread to other areas of the resort.
Insp Russel Farrand said around 30 stickers had been removed over the last six months, initially in the South Shore area but more recently in the town centre and Layton.
He said: “It’s a hate crime which will not be tolerated.
“The wording of these stickers is extremely offensive.
The wording of these stickers is extremely offensive.
“We want to make it clear to those responsible that they will be caught and they will be dealt with as robustly as the law allows.”
Insp Farrand said the posters had initially appeared in the area close to St Heliers Road but had spread around Blackpool.
“We want to encourage people to keep their eyes open.
“If they spot one of these they need to let us know.
“We have already had some success and are awaiting a charging decision on one individual. But we want to find out who has been posting and producing these stickers.”
Police and Blackpool Council are working together to ensure the posters are quickly removed once found.
But officers have access to special forensic kits which make it more likely fingerprints can be recovered.
“There is no place for this,” said Insp Farrand.
“We want to keep Blackpool a friendly family resort.”
Blackpool Council confirmed a number of posters, featuring racist and anti-Islamic messages had been removed from lamp-posts in the South Shore area with ‘one or two’ a week being reported by members of the public. A spokesman said: “Plastering stickers on street furniture or lamp-posts is unacceptable – particularly when the content is offensive.
“The content of some of the stickers is very worrying. We are removing them as soon as they are reported to us and working with the police to identify anybody responsible.
“Blackpool is an inclusive town that regularly welcomes people from all corners of the globe and all walks of life. We shouldn’t allow people to tryto use inflammatory language to drive a wedge between our communities. We’d encourage everybody to stand up against hate crime by reporting the stickers to ourselves to remove and by reporting anybody using discriminatory language to the police.”
Meanwhile, shopkeepers and community volunteers in South Shore have been forced to clean up Nazi symbols daubed on buildings.
The swastikas were in black paint one on a cream coloured wall outside St Mary’s Pharmacy on the corner of Lytham Road and Station Road, one on a bus shelter outside Ocean Tyres on Lytham Road, and another on wooden fencing on the site of the burnt down Grand Hotel in Station Road.
A youth, thought to be in his late teens and dressed in a hooded top and scarf covering his face, was caught on CCTV walking past Splitz.
Footage from the well-established salon, owned by Jodie Moseley since last year, captured the man spraying a black line across the shop front at 10.51pm before, it is believed, continuing his hate spree at the pharmacy next door but one.
Beside him were another man, and a woman, whose wide grin was easily picked up on the footage.
Jodie shared the CCTV images on Facebook, and tried to report the vandalism by calling police.
Her dad Steve said: “She has put all her money into having the shop front done, which has taken quite a lot of time.
“When she went to work, she noticed someone had spray painted right across the new front.”
Staff at the pharmacy said they had been ordered not to speak to the press when approached by The Gazette, but confirmed council officers had visited to try to clean off the offensive Nazi symbol.
An expletive sprayed onto the store’s metal shutters, alongside the number ‘50’, remained.
Though the pharmacy does employ Asian staff members, one local worker said she hopes the vandalism was random rather than targeted.
She said: “It’s worrying. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for it now, and removing anything I do see. Luckily I haven’t seen anything myself.”
Tony Jones’ community group South Beach Crew has been involved in the upkeep of the hoarding at the site of the Grand, destroyed in 2009, since approaching the council and complaining about its dilapidated look.
Since then, while town hall workers try to trace the land’s rightful owner, the 18-member strong group has painted the fence and stencilled nursery rhymes onto it.
Tony, 68, spoke out after a swastika was daubed over the top of Little Miss Muffet, but said he doesn’t want the perpetrator punished through conventional methods.
He said: “We want these people to come forward and say they did it and would like to help,” he said. “But I don’t think that would happen.”