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Brazilian family 'suffer vendetta' after moving to Glencoe Road, Chatham

A dad from Brazil has had his tyres slashed and a car and two motorbikes stolen in what he says is a vendetta because they're foreigners.

Marcelo Gomes and his family came to the UK for a better life but regularly get abused – being told to leave the UK as they "do not belong" here.

The 31-year-old left the northern state of Bahia, home to high levels of violence and crime, hoping to provide a safer life abroad.

With his wife and three children, aged seven, four, and 18 months, Marcelo first moved to Canterbury in 2020, where they lived contently.

But in January the family relocated to Glencoe Road, Chatham, after failing to find a home closer to work in Maidstone.

The parcel delivery driver explained how they liked the town and schools his children would attend, but things took a turn for the worst shortly after.

He said: "We never suffered any discrimination in Canterbury, especially because there are so many Brazilians living there as well. It was good. Just a shame it was too far from work, so we had to move away.

"But within our first month in Chatham, one of our two cars got stolen. That has already affected our lives immensely, because my wife and I work and depend on both cars. After that, my two motorbikes were also taken, and I had to suspend work for a while. I was worried I wasn't going to be able to feed my children."

Marcelo Gomes and his family have been targeted for being Brazilian by their neighbours in Chatham. Picture: Marcelo Gomes
Marcelo Gomes and his family have been targeted for being Brazilian by their neighbours in Chatham. Picture: Marcelo Gomes

This week, the dad-of-three was targeted again when the tyres of his Volkswagen Touran were slashed – he estimates the thefts and vandalism has cost up to £8,000.

He added: "One of my neighbours saw it all and told me when I was about to go to work. The tyres were brand new, they’re not even two-months-old. I have already lost so much money at this point.

"Most of my neighbours are lovely and always ask for my help in getting their cars fixed, or other small jobs. But some in this area here have practically declared me their enemy.

"Many times, when chatting with my children in Portuguese, I've heard a couple of people telling us to **** off back home because we don’t belong in this country, or that our language is disgusting.

"They must think we don’t understand what they’re saying because we’re not from here, but it’s quite the opposite. We do and it is very hurtful.

"I have tried to confront them and ask them why we are being treated so poorly, but they just keep looking at us."

The Brazilian has had multiple vehicles stolen or damaged. Picture: Marcelo Gomes
The Brazilian has had multiple vehicles stolen or damaged. Picture: Marcelo Gomes

Marcelo explained how sad he feels by the ordeal and how the "safe England" he'd always been told of had lost its magic once he moved to Chatham.

He said: "It is a true shame to see how we’ve been treated. We moved to England thinking everyone would be so polite and welcoming to me, my wife, and my children. But that wasn’t quite the case here.

"It has been a very difficult time for me and my family, but I hope this will be over soon.

"People who are capable of doing these horrible things simply don’t have love or empathy for others.

"I’m now having to pay to install security cameras in my car, in my house, and we were thinking of leaving Chatham. But I shouldn’t have to do this because of the poor behaviour of a few people.

"I feel quite sad with all this. I thought I would move to a welcoming place, where I would give my family a good quality of life and my children would be safe. We honestly don't know what we did to deserve this."

Kent Police confirmed officers have been made aware of the situation concerning the family and are investigating.

A spokesperson said: "Kent Police is investigating a report of criminal damage to tyres on a car parked in White Road at around 5.15pm on September 19. Officers have contacted the victim and are urging anybody with information that may assist to contact the appeal line on 01634 792209 quoting crime reference 46/184113/22."

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