Popular garage falls victim to graffiti vandals

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POLICE have launched an investigation after a petrol station in Toddington was daubed with racist graffiti at the weekend.

The busy BP garage and its Spar supermarket in Dunstable Road were targeted by vandals overnight on Friday, with the letters ‘BNP’ sprayed repeatedly on walls, the forecourt, pumps and shop shutters.

It is believed the vandalism happened between 11pm on Friday and 6am on Saturday, when the garage re-opened for business.

A spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said the incident was being treated as criminal damage, and on Saturday morning officers were at the scene photographing the graffiti.

The garage, which has several Asian members of staff, last month had one of its pumps damaged when workers tried to stop a motorist driving away without paying for petrol. The garden fence of a house opposite the filling station was also damaged in a similar incident.

Jim Gledhill, chairman of Toddington Parish Council, said he was disappointed with the attack on a business popular with villagers.

He said: “These are people who provide a really good service to the village, and it shouldn’t matter to anybody what their background is.

“It disgusts me. They had managed to clean up a lot of it but it was still very visible on the brickwork.”

Councillor Gledhill said he would be raising the issue at the parish council’s meeting last night (Wednesday), and hoped the council would be able to help the garage with the cost of the clean-up.

Asked whether support for the BNP was an issue in the village, Councillor Gledhill said he thought there were a small number of people in the village with “racist views”.

“It’s a problem you wouldn’t really expect in Toddington,” he said. “I hope it’s just stupid children who will learn better in the future.”