Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Multiple Chingford restaurants hit by unexplained 'vandalism' spree

One restaurant forked out £10,000 for repairs only to have their windows smashed again

Hero for Multiple Chingford restaurants hit by unexplained 'vandalism' spree
Spice Station in Chingford has had its windows smashed twice in a month (credit: Nadoya Reid)
By Nadoya Reid 14 April 2022

Multiple Chingford businesses have seen their windows inexplicably smashed in the last few weeks, causing thousands of pounds in damage.Multiple Chingford businesses have seen their windows inexplicably smashed in the last few weeks, causing thousands of pounds in damage.

Indian restaurant Spice Station in Station Road paid nearly £10,000 in repairs after being damaged on 15th March, only to have their windows smashed again on 8th April.Indian restaurant Spice Station in Station Road paid nearly £10,000 in repairs after being damaged on 15th March, only to have their windows smashed again on 8th April.

Only a few doors down, another restaurant, Patpong Thai, was reportedly vandalised on the same night in April, with four dents still visible in the front of the shop.Only a few doors down, another restaurant, Patpong Thai, was reportedly vandalised on the same night in April, with four dents still visible in the front of the shop.

The failure to identify a possible suspect, despite CCTV evidence, has seen local police urged by the area’s Conservative councillor to start taking the incidents “seriously”.The failure to identify a possible suspect, despite CCTV evidence, has seen local police urged by the area’s Conservative councillor to start taking the incidents “seriously”.

Dents in the window of a Thai restaurant a few doors down (credit: Nadoya Reid)Dents in the window of a Thai restaurant a few doors down (credit: Nadoya Reid)

Spice Station owner Shah Hussain told the Echo he is now forced to keep constant watch over his restaurant, in the hopes of preventing future vandalism.Spice Station owner Shah Hussain told the Echo he is now forced to keep constant watch over his restaurant, in the hopes of preventing future vandalism.

He said: “It's embarrassing. I am on the street having to stand outside all evening to tell people that we are open because there’s no other way for them to know with the front of the shop boarded up.He said: “It's embarrassing. I am on the street having to stand outside all evening to tell people that we are open because there’s no other way for them to know with the front of the shop boarded up.

“I don’t know what to do. I have to sleep inside at night because it’s not safe with a business like this.” “I don’t know what to do. I have to sleep inside at night because it’s not safe with a business like this.” 

He said that, since the first incident in March, he and other business owners had provided CCTV footage to the police but that he has yet to hear anything back.He said that, since the first incident in March, he and other business owners had provided CCTV footage to the police but that he has yet to hear anything back.

However, he added that he was touched by the immense support he has received from the local community, adding: “I have received many calls from people saying they are sorry for what has happened. However, he added that he was touched by the immense support he has received from the local community, adding: “I have received many calls from people saying they are sorry for what has happened. 

“I want to say many thanks to Councillor [Goldie] Mitchell and all the local people supporting me in this difficult time. If it was not for the support of the locals I could not open.”“I want to say many thanks to Councillor [Goldie] Mitchell and all the local people supporting me in this difficult time. If it was not for the support of the locals I could not open.”

A fundraiser to help raise money for repairs at Spice Station, created last week, has already raised more than £1,000 in donations.A fundraiser to help raise money for repairs at Spice Station, created last week, has already raised more than £1,000 in donations.

Pikunrat, a manager at PatPong Thai, said their restaurant was also damaged on 8th April, despite there being no apparent connection between the businesses.Pikunrat, a manager at PatPong Thai, said their restaurant was also damaged on 8th April, despite there being no apparent connection between the businesses.

He added: “I want to know the reason why this is happening to us, why are we being targeted?”He added: “I want to know the reason why this is happening to us, why are we being targeted?”

Writing publicly on Facebook, Endlebury ward councillor Mitchell Goldie said the vandalism of Spice Station was a “shameful attack on a much-valued local business” and called on local police to do more.Writing publicly on Facebook, Endlebury ward councillor Mitchell Goldie said the vandalism of Spice Station was a “shameful attack on a much-valued local business” and called on local police to do more.

He added: "It’s disappointing the police are still not taking this matter seriously. Chingford Green ward has three dedicated neighbourhood officers so this is not a capacity issue."He added: "It’s disappointing the police are still not taking this matter seriously. Chingford Green ward has three dedicated neighbourhood officers so this is not a capacity issue."

Speaking later to the Echo he added: “I understand that the Met are dealing with a lot but there needs to be an improvement in communication… Local businesses need to be assured that the incident is being investigated.” Speaking later to the Echo he added: “I understand that the Met are dealing with a lot but there needs to be an improvement in communication… Local businesses need to be assured that the incident is being investigated.” 

Asked to respond to these concerns, Inspector Ganesh Rasaratnam from the local police said officers are “aware of the incidents” at Spice Station and other businesses.Asked to respond to these concerns, Inspector Ganesh Rasaratnam from the local police said officers are “aware of the incidents” at Spice Station and other businesses.

He added: “They are currently investigating the allegation of criminal damage… and this remains a live investigation. Officers have also been liaising with the local councillor about the concerns raised.”He added: “They are currently investigating the allegation of criminal damage… and this remains a live investigation. Officers have also been liaising with the local councillor about the concerns raised.”