‘Get them Polish out of your house or I’ll burn it down’

Ed Jones on being driven from his Salford home by vandalism, racist abuse and violence - Guardian Unlimited

This was a really shocking story which was in the Guardian yesterday. The author, who had lived in Hulme and Moss Side (notoriously rough parts of Manchester) for most his adult life and done two years in jail, thought it was a snip to get a 4-bedroom terraced house for £50,000, but soon found out why it was so cheap: his ownership “amounted to joint tenancy with a gang of local boys who had taken up part-time residence on my porch and front steps, probably dating from the 18-month period the house had been empty before I bought it”, and the lads alternated between engaging him in conversation (about their delinquency) and breaking into his house. The neighbourhood was also full of sick and mentally-ill people.

Then, when he got some Slovakian lodgers, things turned very nasty very quickly, and it ended with him and his lodgers being driven out under the above threat from a racist local goon. Through it all, the police did next to nothing, having blocked easy access to the estate to stop joyriders, and put complainants in a difficult position by asking them to identify their attackers in front of them. They also hold pointless public meetings in a district where people are afraid to talk to the police, and take part in photo-shoots with Hazel Blears to crow about the “success” of action against antisocial behaviour.

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