- Officers targetted as they raided shop for suspected illegal immigrants
- Vehicles were scratched and their tyres slashed in Shadwell, East London
- Immigration officers were then pelted with eggs by a Muslim gang
- Comes after the PM called for Muslim community to do more to fight extremism
A gang of Muslim youths launched an astonishing attack on vans being used for an immigration raid – in the week David Cameron called upon the Muslim community to ‘support the British way of life’.
In the ‘disturbing’ incident in East London last week, three vans marked ‘Immigration Enforcement’ and an unmarked silver car were badly vandalised.
More than a dozen officials arrived in Shadwell on Wednesday to round up three suspected illegal Bangladeshi immigrants from a shop. They returned to their Home Office vehicles in the next street to find the vans’ tyres had been sliced open and the paintwork scratched.
The officers were then pelted with eggs before police were called.
Two days earlier, the Prime Minister made a landmark speech appealing for support from the Muslim community in the effort to combat extremism.
Vandalised: The post giving details and showing a photo of the vans with slashed tyres
One witness said: ‘I saw about five or six youths come out of nowhere and run towards the immigration vans.
They had kitchen knives in their hands and they slashed the tyres and scratched the bodywork.
‘It all happened very quickly, then they ran off.
‘I think they were local Muslim hoodies just doing a prank, but it’s not funny. It’s the sort of thing that will cause this area problems now.’
Residents also claim the vans had to be towed away after a local garage refused to help, although the garage denies this.
The attack was condemned by community leaders in Shadwell last night, but social media posts appeared to reveal a groundswell of support for the gang.
On Facebook, Nur Choudhury said: ‘Immigration Enforcement officers in Shadwell.
Their tyres got slashed, valves taken and cars scratched. The local garage refused to sell them tyres or help them.
To top it all off they got egged from the local tower block and a few landed direct on their heads. Welcome to Shadwell :)’
Beneath a link to a video of the damaged vehicles on Facebook, Jenny Hussain added: ‘Lol. I heard about it. They were asking people for wheels. Everyone said no to them.’
When The Mail on Sunday visited the scene on Friday, one shopkeeper said: ‘The police deserve it. They are always down here hassling us.’
A worker at Bigland Tyres – which is opposite where the attack took place – last night denied claims they declined to help. He said: ‘We tried to help them but we didn’t have any tyres big enough to fit their vans. We offered to give them air, but there was no point because the tyres had big holes in them.’
More than half the population of Shadwell is Muslim, according to the 2011 census.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said no arrests had been made but ‘inquiries are ongoing’.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We will not tolerate abuse or criminal damage.
Offences will be reported to the police.’