Hereford & Worcester

Rabbit killed in Kidderminster 'hate campaign'

A pet rabbit has been killed in what police say is part of a "hate campaign" against some families living in a Worcestershire town.

Over the past 18 months, abusive, racist and threatening signs have been placed outside properties in two roads in Sutton Park in Kidderminster.

Last week a pet rabbit was found cut up in the garden of one of the families being targeted, police said.

Crimestoppers is now offering a £2,000 reward to track down the offenders.

It follows the escalation in incidents of harassment directed at the families in Tomkinson Drive and neighbouring Lister Road, a spokesman said.

'Despicable and mindless'

Det Insp Dean Jones, from West Mercia Police, said: "Overnight between Tuesday 29 May and Wednesday 30 May last week, one of two pet rabbits which had only just been bought was found cut up in the garden of one of the families being targeted.

"The animal had been removed from the hutch where it was kept and, after being killed, it was left in open view of the house.

"Another racially offensive sign appeared in an alleyway near the same property overnight between Friday and Saturday."

Paint has been thrown at brickwork and fluid poured over cars, he said.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the incidents but police say there is insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.

"These despicable and mindless offences amount to a hate campaign with no regard for the victims and their wider families - and that includes young children," Mr Jones said.

"Understandably it has caused considerable distress to the families concerned who are at a loss as to why they should be targeted in the way that they have been.

"They are desperate for us to get to the bottom of it and we are determined to bring the person or people responsible to justice."

He said police were convinced it was "a local issue" and that someone in the neighbourhood knows who is responsible.

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