Justice for victims of racial discrimination by local authority.
Justice for victims of racial discrimination by local authority.
My name is Susan, and it has been over 9 years since my father passed away in 2012. He was a man of great strength and character who came to this country at the government’s request for helpers from India in 1961 and he worked tirelessly for a good life for his family so we could enjoy our freedom without racism and prejudice.
When I was a child, my parents owned their own house until the council made a compulsory purchase order on our private home, forcing us to move into council accommodation. Since then, this council house became our family home for over 44 years, and my parents ended up purchasing it 33 years ago. The neighbouring three houses are still owned by the council and have council tenants who have all changed over the last 12 years. Prior to these tenants we had never had any issues with any of our neighbours’.
Since my father’s death I have endured racial harassment, victimisation, and anti-social behaviour constantly from the neighbours who are council tenants. First to me and then my sister for which there was no cause for, as we never knew these neighbours before they started to victimise us.
The harassment and victimisation of these anti-social behaviours from the neighbours began from parking on my drive, trespassing on my property, swearing at me, threatening and intimidating me, hitting our external gas pipe, damaging my car and my property, and racial abuse. Blocking my driveway with their visitors’ cars for several hours at a time so I could not leave my house and they enticed other to join in their behaviours. All these years that I suffered from their victimisation it had a detrimental effect on my physical and mental wellbeing, to the point that I could not cope living there on my own anymore as they were relentless.
My sister then moved in to live with me and support me as this constant abuse caused me severe stress and health problems and instead of leaving us alone, they then also began harassing my sister. After years of aggressive abuse from them and their visitors it all took its toll on my sister as well and she almost died from a mini stroke due to all the stress and pressure of this whole situation. She is yet to make a full recovery.
After constantly reporting this to the local authority since 2012, we found that their attitude was to support their tenants who are white English people rather than us the Indian victims and yet the council have supported and taken action for other victims who are white and suffering from less harassment than us.
The local authority has acted as if we are insignificant due to our race, and they have repeatedly failed over the years to take any action and stop these behaviours. In reality, their lack of action has empowered these tenants to continue their behaviours without fear of any consequences no matter how much these behaviours caused us distress and anxiety and affected the peace and enjoyment of our home.
The local authority is the lead agent for anti-social behaviour (ASB) and as such has control and influence over all the agencies and the authority has extensive legislative powers to deal with all ASB, but they have failed to use this in our case. During these traumatic years we have turned to the other agencies like the local neighbourhood police for support and action, but they have all refused after they speak with the local authority, the lead agent.
This experience has been traumatic, distressing and at times we have lived in fear. Instead of dealing with these tenants the local authority told us to obtain our own injunction against their tenants and because the harassment did not stop even with our solicitors’ involvement, we were forced to take out our own private civil injunction against the neighbours that has so far cost us over £40,000 and the trial is now set for March 2022, which we still have to find further funding for.
This situation has become very complicated over the years as there is so much evidence surfacing about the level of racial discrimination from the local authority towards victims of colour, like us. As such, we have had no choice but to take out our own separate civil action against the local authority for direct racial discrimination, again at much cost to us.
My sister came to live and support me and tried to resolve all these issues amicably with all her skill set but to no avail instead, we have been disregarded and the local authority still continue to allow us to be victimised by their tenants. They have vilified us for making complaints, misled other agencies into not assisting us in an effort to cover up their own failures and negligence. We have not even had the opportunity to grieve for the loss of our father and later our sister for all these years.
This whole matter could have been resolved by the local authority and nipped in the bud had they acted in a more professional manner towards the victims of their tenants and even used the ASB powers. But they have spent money trying to degrade, humiliate and minimise these behaviours and gone out of their way to try and discredit us and, it has been really hard to carry on at times to get any kind of justice, so we can have some peace and enjoyment in our own home.
We have tried to assist the local authority in outlining solutions, going through their policy’s interpreting them. What we have evidenced is that the poor action they have taken, even ignoring their own policies and legislation to fabricate the truth and put a spin on our evidence that we have provided to make the incidents trivial to belittle us.
No one should have to live like this, and this has had a detrimental effect on our lives socially, financially, professionally and with our health. We have never experienced the likes of this before.
We have spent over 9 years fighting this injustice and discrimination by the local authority who forced us to take out a private injunction and discrimination case at considerable legal cost to us, which we have incurred.
We continue to fight and stand up for our civil and human rights for justice and to resolve these many issues that the local authority refuse to deal with so we can get back to living a normal life without victimisation and harassment.
We need your assistance to help us change the way local authority treats a section of its community and as such we are seeking any financial support.
Aims to achieve
Bring public awareness to the racial discrimination by a public authority and to bring about changes to the way they treat people of colour, so such practices are eradicated, and everyone is treated the same.
To bring about change to the way they handle ASB, change their policies so that ethnic minority groups are not victimised by them or their tenants. That such complaints be dealt with by an independent body in a timely manner no matter who the complainant/victim is.
Improve training and awareness of the local authority staff who deal with ASB more affectively, and not racially demean the victims, exacerbates their situation even more.
Provide more support for victims of racial harassment.
How much are we looking to raise and why?
We are not asking for financial assistance with the injunction case, only the Racial Discrimination case against the local authority.
Initially we are looking to raise £22,500. This is to help meet some of our significant cost that we have already incurred to get this racial discrimination case started.
Support for the ongoing fight to get justice as our solicitors projected figures state that we will need at least £80.000 for us both, which we need to continue to raise funds for.
Please accept our heartfelt gratitude to you in reading this as it is extremely difficult for us to ask for financial support in this way as it has become such an uphill battle, we have had to endure through no fault of ours. Thank you for your support in helping us get the justice and peace for ourselves.
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