‘I feel like I’m being let down by police’

Former wrestler Shak Khan, who represented Pakistan
Former wrestler Shak Khan, who represented Pakistan
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A man who says he has been targeted with racist abuse over the years says he feels let down by the police.

Shak Khan, 44, from South Shore, says he has been the victim of racial slurs and told to ‘go back to his own country’ despite being born in Halifax.

He says he reported the incidents to police, but that no charges were ever brought against those responsible.

Lancashire Police said reports of racism are taken ‘incredibly seriously’.

Mr Khan said: “I feel like I’m being let down by the police in various incidents.

“Am I supposed to take racist abuse and just put up with it because I feel like there’s no point reporting it?”

On April 14, Mr Khan, who represented Pakistan as a wrestler, called the police to report a road rage incident in Blackburn in which a driver used racial slurs. He was dismayed to learn three weeks later that the driver was only cautioned.

This, says Mr Khan, is not the first time he felt allegations of racism were not acted upon by Lancashire police.

He said: “One of the worst incidents that I have suffered from as a victim of hate crime occurred last year.

“I had visited my bank on Church Street, Blackpool, on a Saturday afternoon.

“Upon returning to my car, a group of around six males saw me and started making monkey gestures and noises, then started to give me a tirade of racist abuse.”

Mr Khan said the incident made him feel ‘embarrassed and ashamed’. He called the police and later reported it to two officers near the Coral Island arcade.

He said: “I have followed the correct procedures and gone about reporting them in the normal and correct civilised manner and I have been let down constantly by Lancashire constabulary. The most annoying thing is that I’m starting to feel like I am doing something wrong by calling 999. I actually feel bad about picking up the phone.”

Police said: “We understand the impact crimes of this nature can have on victims and we take all reports incredibly seriously and investigate them thoroughly.

“Where there is clear evidence, we will deal with such incidents in a robust manner and take appropriate action.

“Hate incidents of any kind are not acceptable, and instances of it need to end. There is no place for hate in Lancashire.”