Following another shocking attack on Swindon Hindu Temple last weekend, the Swindon Equality Coalition has released a statement of solidarity and support
Thieves Target Swindon Hindu Temple
We’re shocked and saddened to hear that Swindon Hindu Temple has again been the target of thieves and vandals.
As a network of people and groups from across Swindon, the Swindon Equality Coalition works to build a town of inclusion and diversity. We stand with our friends in the Hindu community and our message is clear. Swindon will not accept this treatment of one of our important communities.
The number of recent break-ins at the Temple is as shocking as the current attack. The Temple, located in Cheney Manor, has suffered attack five times in the last five months.
Since the first incident in May, when thieves stole copper cables that supplied the power to the council-owned property, the Temple has been without mains electricity. That loss left CCTV, fire and intruder alarms as well as heating and emergency lighting out of action.
Thieves came back less than a month later and stole the entire sub-station. Further attacks have seen doors and furniture destroyed and cash stolen. And, last weekend, the holy altar ransacked with religious items either damaged or stolen.
The significant damage caused during the break-ins has made the premises unfit for purpose until urgent repairs reach completion.
Lack of support
Members of the Hindu community are now sleeping overnight at the Temple to provide some basic security. This is an appalling reflection of the support offered by Swindon’s local authorities.
In support of the Swindon Hindu community:
We urge the Council to arrange for the restoration of the full electricity supply without further delay. The police are appealing for witnesses to the crime. Meanwhile we ask that all measures get taken to:
- support the Hindu community and …
- … to ensure the safety of the Temple and the people who use it.
We invite the police and local authority to offer effective engagement with the Hindu Community. Engagement to find acceptable solutions for both the immediate situation as well as the long-term. An alternative safe and appropriate site is an urgent priority.
Swindon Equality Coalition
Chair of Swindon Equality Coalition, Michelle Howard, added ‘It is so upsetting that the Hindu community suffer this targeting. We are working to make Swindon a beacon of inclusion and diversity. Thus we will not accept this kind of behaviour.’
‘We stand in solidarity with the Hindu community. And we urge our partners in the police, local authority and other agencies to act with urgency to provide confidence and security to the Hindu community’ Michelle added.
The Swindon Equality Coalition promotes and supports equality, diversity, and inclusion throughout the Borough. We will highlight positive change and good practice. And we will question and challenge, to ensure Swindon becomes a beacon for equality of access and opportunity for all.
For more information visit www.vas-swindon.org/equality