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Wednesday, 27 June, 2001, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Blunkett issues new race plea
Mr Blunkett visited Cafe Naz in Brick Lane
Mr Blunkett visited Cafe Naz in Brick Lane
Home Secretary David Blunkett has renewed his appeal for an end to racial tension, during a visit to one of the UK's largest Asian communities.

He was speaking in Brick Lane, east London, while meeting businessman Muquim Ahmed, whose restaurant, Cafe Naz, was wrecked in 1999 by a nail bomb planted by racist David Copeland.

Mr Blunkett called on parents and community leaders of all races to preach a message of tolerance, following a weekend of violence in Burnley, Lancashire.

The home secretary was in Brick Lane to launch a 15m scheme to reduce high street crime in poor areas.

Asked about the problem of youth crime, Mr Blunkett said: "I think it reflects a culture of ours and reflects messages that are picked up.

David Copeland
David Copeland: Jailed for bombings
"It's very, very important to get it out, for example in respect of Burnley, that the parents are very important.

"It's not good enough just saying that it's because people are black or Asian, it's the messages these people pick up that determine the way they behave.

"We would agree there is a very big responsibility on the wider community.

"We must send out the right signals ... not least that everyone will be a loser but that no-one gains from anti-social behaviour."

'Shining example'

Mr Blunkett met local community leaders during his tour of the area and was guided round by the police borough commander, Chief Superintendent Rose Fitzpatrick.

He said Brick Lane was a "shining example" of different ethnic communities living together peacefully.

"It's a symbol of people coming together and fighting for equality and racial harmony.

"There is a coming together both in terms of the business community and the police to fight against anti-social behaviour."

He added: "This is a common endeavour. It cannot just be the police's job or the business community's job, it has to be everyone."

Hit-and-run

In Burnley, a "racially motivated" hit-and-run incident disrupted the relative calm on Tuesday night.

Police made no arrests overnight but said a car - with four Asian men inside - was driven at two white men after racist remarks were exchanged.

Senior Labour party member and community activist Shahid Malik toured Asian areas of the town on Tuesday night to appeal for calm.

Mr Malik suffered cuts to his head on Monday night which he said were the result of being knocked unconscious with a riot shield by police.

But he said he was confident the alleged assault would be investigated thoroughly and fairly.

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26 Jun 01 | UK
Fragile calm in Burnley
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