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Vandals strike at Walmer café after owner speaks out about racism

By Eleanor Perkins

Vandals have struck at a café in Walmer less than 24 hours after the owner spoke out about his plans to tackle racism.

Peter St Ange, 55, arrived at the Sea Café on The Green this morning to find his bird bath smashed, plant pots destroyed and his outside tables overturned.

He shared a video of the damage on social media prompted messages of support from residents who have described the act as "disgusting" and "evil".

Vandals smashed a bird feeder leaving debris on the path (2430531)
Vandals smashed a bird feeder leaving debris on the path (2430531)
Plant pots outside Sea Cafe on The Green have been damaged (2430527)
Plant pots outside Sea Cafe on The Green have been damaged (2430527)

Mr St Ange told KentOnline that he doesn't think it was a personal attack although he admits it's a coincidence.

He said: "I have reported it to the police.

"Initially I panicked and thought it was just to me but I don't think it's personal.

"I've been told it's happened in other places in Walmer although it is a bit of a coincidence."

Café owner Peter St Ange spoke out about his campaign against racism yesterday
Café owner Peter St Ange spoke out about his campaign against racism yesterday

In a story reported on KentOnline and in The East Kent Mercury yesterday, Mr St Ange shared his plans to stamp out racism in the town with a campaign about unity.

He was compelled to do so after being told by one of his regular customers that some people in the town were referring to him and his business, which was formerly a public toilet, as *** in the Bog.

Too upset to say it aloud, the man scribbled the nickname onto a piece of paper which Mr St Ange says wants to frame and display on his cafe’s Wall of Expression.

In a message to the vandals, he said: "It [racism] is a sensitive subject. I just think we should celebrate our differences.

"Let's talk about it. Let's keep the conversation going. Let's seek a resolution rather than conflict."

A spokesman said: "Kent Police is investigating a report of criminal damage in Deal.

"Overnight between Wednesday, June 6 and Thursday, June 7 garden furniture belonging to a café on The Strand was damaged.

"Officers are carrying out initial enquiries and would ask any witnesses or anyone with information to get in touch.

"Call the appeal line on 01843 222289 quoting reference ZY/031543/18. Alternatively call Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111."

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