Violent attacks on Saffron Walden's Gurkha community prompt dedicated police patrols
PUBLISHED: 11:24 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:36 22 November 2017
A warning has been issued to the Gurkha community in Saffron Walden after they were victim to a series of violent burglaries and attacks.
Town MP Kemi Badenoch has spoken out after six separate incidents over the past five months promoted local Gurkhas to contact her.
Three weeks ago three men forced themselves into a flat in Saffron Walden and violently assaulted the woman and her young daughter.
The victims were held at knife-point while the raiders ransacked the property for passports, cash and jewellery.
The mother managed to break free and her cries for help were heard by neighbours who raised the alarm – causing the intruders to flee the scene.
Across all of the incidents, jewellery to the value of £10,000 has been taken, along with a large amount of Nepalese currency.
It is thought the incidents are linked to wider targeted raids on Asian homes in Essex.
Mrs Badenoch said the community was naturally worried for the safety of their families, with concerns that serious harm will come to them as the burglaries seemed to be getting more violent.
Community leaders met with the MP, who raised the incidents with senior officers at Essex Police.
Officers have met with members of the Gurkha community to provide an update on the investigation and reassurance on what the force is doing to keep them safe.
Mrs Badenoch said: “I’m disappointed that a community of people, most of whom have fought for Queen and country have been targeted this way.
“We owe them a duty of care and I will be working with our local police to ensure they feel safe in Saffron Walden.”
Further meetings between the Gurkhas, Essex Police and the MP will be taking place in the coming weeks to monitor the progress of the situation and provide an update on the investigation.
Dedicated patrols are also now in place to protect the community, while a specialist team of detectives is investigating the Asian gold spate of incidents.
Chief superintendent Ewen Wilson, speaking on BBC Essex, said he felt “angry” members of the community were being targeted in this way.