Vandals target Lancaster City Council leader

The leader of Lancaster City Council says she has been left shaken and disturbed after the front of her home was vandalised.

By Robbie Macdonald, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 4:25 pm

Speaking at the latest full council meeting, Green councillor Caroline Jackson said: “I was targeted on Sunday night between midnight and 2am with some vandalism at the front of my house. It was upsetting. None of my neighbours saw or heard what happened.

“I think I was targeted because no other houses on the street were targeted. It was disturbing because you think who did this and why? Have I done something wrong? Is it from our community?

“But I live in a fantastic community. One of the reasons we serve [as councillors] is because we have a massive respect for our community. To think that anybody would do this to me is awful and it’s made me sympathise with others who are targeted by anti-social behaviour.

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Lancaster City Council leader Caroline Jackson.

“We have had some examples of victimisation in Morecambe. But my home address is on the council website and I have always thought this is the kind of place where we can do that.

"People may push letters through your front door or knock on the front door to talk about an issue. So I think it’s awful that I might need to remove my address from the council website. But I will speak to the police about it. I still feel rather shaky about it.”

The incident comes as police are investigating ‘inflammatory’ leaflets distributed in Lancaster on Sunday, which were described as racist and divisive.

In a statement, police said they took “reports of racism and far-right activity very seriously”.

Elsewhere, there have been reports earlier this year of attacks and abuse of students and of people at political protests.

In recent months, Lancaster City Council has heard descriptions of alleged racist and anti-Jewish abuse of students, and abuse towards people taking part in a political rally against the invasion of Ukraine by Russia as reported previously by the Lancaster Guardian.

There have also been reports of anti-social behaviour, trespass and physical attacks on some students.

Coun Jackson said: “We had some leafleting nearby which was quite unpleasant and we’ve been trying to support people about that. Whether this is far-right linked, I don’t know, but I think it was done by people from outside our community.

“If it came from people outside the community, that would make me feel slightly better. It’s not a good situation but I would feel the threat has gone and it was generalised. But it’s still worrying that some people might think this is the way to effect democracy. It’s very unpleasant.”

City councillors from other political parties criticised the incident.

Conservative group leader Coun Andrew Gardiner said: “This kind of thing is not nice for anybody. There seems to be a targeting of all political parties. Hopefully we can do something about. Any type of hate crime is awful. ”

Morecambe Bay Independent Coun Roger Dennison said: “I am appalled to hear about the attack on the leader’s front garden.”