Black families in Essex receive racist letters

  • Published
Dee MundembeImage source, Dee Mundembe
Image caption,
Dee Mundembe said she was shocked to receive the letter of hate and violence

A woman has told how she was sent a racist letter threatening to kill her and shed blood.

Dee Mundembe, 24, discovered a hand-written note after returning home to Basildon, Essex, late on 30 May, as first reported in the Metro.

"They called me the n-word. They called me a monkey," she said.

Essex Police said it was investigating reports of hate crime over two letters delivered to homes in Basildon and had put safeguarding measures in place.

Royal Mail worker Ms Mundembe, who moved to Basildon 18 months ago, said she was "scared" by the contents of the note, especially the reference to "shedding" her blood which was written in red.

"I don't understand why or where this has come from," she said.

"They said every time that they walk past my house they feel like shedding my blood. How I need to leave before it's too late. And multiple times they called me a monkey so I could see it was targeted to my race."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The letters were sent before demonstrations in the UK the killing of George Floyd

The letters were sent before thousands of people joined protests in the UK over the killing of George Floyd in the United States.

A wave of anti-racism protests have been triggered by the death of African-American Mr Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on 25 May.

Four officers have been charged in relation to his death.

Ms Mundembe said she had to take time off work as a result of receiving the hate letter as it was having an impact on her life and that of her seven-year-old autistic son.

The second letter was sent to a woman who had been forced to move house after she was racially abused and assaulted.

At the time the incident was reported, leader of Basildon Council, Gavin Callaghan, tweeted he was "aware of the horrific racist abuse" a resident had suffered and said there was "no place in our borough" for it.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "We received reports that threatening handwritten letters were sent to two addresses.

"Hate crime is unacceptable and I know these actions are not within the spirit of our community here in Basildon district."