Police hunt Harborough Market hate graffiti man

Pc Malcolm Roberts inside the indoor market toilets where racist graffiti messages have been left.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Pc Malcolm Roberts inside the indoor market toilets where racist graffiti messages have been left. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Police are looking for a man who has been scrawling hate graffiti in a public building in Market Harborough.

The repeat offender writes racist messages in biro in the men’s toilets at the town’s Indoor Market. Police are investigating after complaints from market users.

The graffiti, some of which has been seen by The Mail, refers very offensively to asylum seekers, black people and European migrants, among others.

Pc Malc Roberts, who is based in Market Harborough, said: “The graffiti started appearing just before Christmas, and although it’s always cleaned off quickly, it just keeps coming back.

“We think it’s done by someone who lives or works in the area, because it happens so regularly.

“The message we want to put out to the man who’s doing this is we know about it and if we catch you we’re going to deal with you.”

Market manager Sairah Butt said that as well as any police action, the culprit could be banned from the Indoor Market.

“We just want it to stop” she said. “It’s just not the sort of thing we want to see in our market at all.”

A spokesman for Harborough District Council, which owns the Market building, added: “We would urge anyone who knows anything about this matter to report it to the police.”

The market’s toilet block is fairly new and used by hundreds of shoppers and traders. But police believe it is the same writer who is producing all the offensive graffiti.

The town’s Indoor Market recently won the Best Small Indoor Market category at a national awards ceremony in Birmingham.

Nick Rhodes, CEO of Market Place, the company that manages the market, said: “We have made significant efforts to develop just the right formula to create a successful market and we are thrilled our efforts have been recognised by the industry.”

The market is now open six days a week and attracts visitors from across the region. It incorporates the Retro and Collectors Market on Wednesday, The Craft Market on Thursday and The Antiques Market on Sunday.

A recent survey suggested that visitors to the market spent a million pounds a month there.

Pc Roberts said: “We’re very proud of our market, and we don’t want it spoilt with stuff like this.”