A COMMUNITY has been left outraged after a mindless vandal scrawled racist graffiti on several beach huts.

The graffiti, which reads “Polish go home” was written on two beach huts in Shoebury’s East Beach as well as some nearby bus shelters.

The shelters were renovated by Shoebury Baptist Church, who still own one of them but returned the other two back to Southend Council.

John Budge, treasurer of the Shoebury Residents Association, said: “My church took on the three shelters in Maplin Way and renovated them which was really a lot of work.

“One of them that was graffitied also was very badly damaged unfortunately.

“The graffiti is a hate crime and we are all very insulted by it because there is just no justification for it.

“Although we’ve had issues of antisocial behaviour in the Shoebury area recently, with slashing of people’s tyres, this is obviously a racist issue and I’m surprised it has come along.

“It is really upsetting that it has appeared and we can only hope that the police investigate it and the culprit is brought to justice.”

Some of the graffiti has been removed which was not an easy task, as business owner Peter Grubb discovered.

The owner of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in Shoebury, said: “It was on the public shelter which is owned by Shoebury Baptist Church and is right outside my business so everyone leaving Uncle Tom’s can see it.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable because this country has opened its doors to visitors and people who have come to live here for years.

“It’s just like all the antisemitic nonsense and it is just unacceptable.

“Interestingly, I know for a fact that this happened last year and the writing looks identical.

“I used to clean it off once every other week it felt like last year and the style is exactly the same.

“It’s really frustrating and difficult to try and clean off.

“There’s an art to it because once you put the anti-graffiti spray on it, it all kind of runs red down it and you have to be quick to clean it off before it dries. It is not easy and takes at least half an hour to do.”

Southend Council were contacted for comment but did not respond but state they aim to remove graffiti within a week of it being reported.

You can report it on the council’s website at www.southend.gov.uk