Steve Nimmons
Academic and Author researching policing in smart cities

An Isle to Avoid?

Having barely digested the recent Community Safety Trust report on anti-Semitic incidents in Britain I was abhorred by news of an episode on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. In broad daylight in the High Street of Sheerness a tour bus carrying Hasidic children was attacked by stone throwers.

The incident reported by Kent Online carried a quote from Heather Thomas-Pugh of the Sheppey Tourism Alliance:

We are extremely disappointed that this sort of behaviour has happened on our island.


When people take the time and trouble to come and visit us, they should expect Islanders to provide a warm welcome.


It is incidents like this, from a minority, that prevent the Isle of Sheppey being seen in the correct light.

It was reported that the attack was carried out by a group of approximately seven teenage boys and girls. Verbal abuse and racial epithets were also directed at the Jewish children.

A spokesperson for the tour operator said:

The people on the coach were pretty shaken up. In the future we will have to warn ethnic minorities about bringing them to Sheppey.

The image of the Isle of Sheppey risks serious damage from this incident. Public representatives must robustly condemn this attack and urgently outline a package of measures to investigate and tackle any underlying problems. Anti-Semitism is intolerable and must not be afforded any space to incubate.

About the Author
Steve Nimmons is an academic, writer and technologist specialising in criminology, security and policing. His research includes smart cities, digital policing models and public protection through design of smart urban environments.
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