Police in Bognor are investigating after more than a dozen cars in the town were damaged with yellow paint.
Officers are treating the incidents, which took place overnight on Tuesday, August 2 while the vehicles were parked in various residential roads within the Town and Marine wards. as a hate crime.
A total of 14 vehicles were sprayed with the paint, the majority of which had Eastern European number plates or were owned by Eastern European residents.
Temporary Chief Inspector Pip Taylor, District Commander for Arun, said: “Sussex Police takes incidents of this nature very seriously and a thorough investigation to identify those responsible is taking place.
“We are examining CCTV in the area, have stepped up patrols and carried out house to house enquiries to see if anyone saw or heard anything suspicious. We’ve also had leaflets delivered in both English and Polish to offer reassurance to residents.
“It would appear that the offender - or offenders - have deliberately targeted vehicles belonging to Eastern Europeans. This is not acceptable and if those responsible think that the police will tolerate such crimes then they’re very much mistaken.
“Hate crime is not acceptable under any circumstances and the deplorable actions of those responsible will undoubtedly be condemned by the wider community.”
Operation Accent was launched in Arun district last year, specifically aimed at reducing crime and vulnerability within the Eastern European community. Anyone who has been a victim of a crime but has concerns about coming forward and speaking to police can be assured that they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and professionalism.
“A large number of Eastern Europeans live in the areas that were targeted on Tuesday night, the vast majority of whom are decent, hardworking people who have come to make a better life for themselves and their families,” added T/CI Taylor. “There are many vulnerable people within this community and we will continue to work with partner agencies to reduce the risk of them becoming victims of crime.”
Anyone with information about Tuesday night’s spate of incidents is asked to call police on 101, quoting serial number 0782 of 28/08, or email email@example.com. Alternatively call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.