Remainer properties targeted in spate of vandalism attacks

PUBLISHED: 18:20 05 June 2019 | UPDATED: 19:28 05 June 2019

The EU elections illustrated the divisions between old and young; urban and rural; university-educated and non-graduates, says Barnaby Towns. Pictured, a vandalised EU flag. Photo: Pete Creese

The EU elections illustrated the divisions between old and young; urban and rural; university-educated and non-graduates, says Barnaby Towns. Pictured, a vandalised EU flag. Photo: Pete Creese

Pete Creese

Vandals have targeted pro-Remain homes, cars and offices with smashed windows, thrown paint, and "traitor" daubed on walls in a spate of attacks around the EU elections.

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Bright red paint was thrown at the windows and signage of the Liberal Democrat offices in Hailsham, East Sussex, the day before the elections.

Former councillor and building trustee Steve Murphy is overseeing the cleanup. "If you wanted to vent your spleen I suppose ... but why carry a bucket of red lead paint?" he said.

"It ain't going to wash off," he added. "It'll take turps."

The office windows had also been smashed two weeks earlier, although Murphy acknowledged that this may not have been political as numerous nearby places had also been vandalised.

Liberal Democrat offices in Hailsham, East Sussex, were vandalised the day before the EU elections. Picture: Steve MurphyLiberal Democrat offices in Hailsham, East Sussex, were vandalised the day before the EU elections. Picture: Steve Murphy

The community has rallied around the Hailsham Lib Dems, with one anonymous well-wisher taping a letter to their front door saying "it says nothing about you and everything about them", and congratulating the party on their success in the EU elections.

It is not a lone incident. In Wiltshire, safety and environmental manager and Remain supporter Pete Creese found a week after the elections that cream emulsion had been thrown over his car, as well as the EU flag displayed outside his home in the quiet village of Beanacre.

"I thought rather a large bird had done something on the window, and then I saw the flag covered in paint," said Pete, who has reported it to the police.

"The thing that struck me was - somebody might see the flag and object to it but why go away and get paint?

Liberal Democrat offices in Hailsham, East Sussex, were vandalised the day before the EU elections. Picture: Steve MurphyLiberal Democrat offices in Hailsham, East Sussex, were vandalised the day before the EU elections. Picture: Steve Murphy

"Why should people be able to intimidate me?

"I don't condone throwing milkshakes but it's a different thing," he added.

READ: Leave.EU tweeted video of Farage throwing drinks over politicians days before condemning milkshake incidents

Sussex police are also investigating two attacks made soon after the elections in Lewes.

A car and an EU flag were vandalised after the EU elections in Wiltshire. Picture: Pete CreeseA car and an EU flag were vandalised after the EU elections in Wiltshire. Picture: Pete Creese

Two houses displaying Lib Dem posters had their windows put through with bricks in the early hours of the morning.

Sussex police told the New European that the attacks "appear to be linked to political campaigning posters on display".

According to local paper the Argus, a nearby house displaying EU flags had recently been spray painted with the word "traitor".

Edwina Livesey, whose windows were smashed, told the paper: "This is a hate crime."

"They were targeting us because of our political views.

"It wasn't just some drunken behaviour, the brick they used came from somewhere else, it wasn't just picked up in the street.

"They are deliberately targeting."

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