Anti-BNP activists mistakenly target Gloucestershire pensioners
PENSIONERS have had their property vandalised and received threatening phone calls after they were mistakenly targeted as active BNP members.
The attacks follow the release of a 12,000-name list which contained contact details of people allegedly signed up to the far-right political party.
nothing to do with the bnp: George and June Papps
In Gloucestershire, 68 people were named and since the list's publication last week, police have received six reports of vandalism and harassment in Cheltenham and Gloucester.
Cheltenham widow Natalia Colthurst said she received six threatening calls, in which she was asked her name and why she supports the BNP. The caller signed off with the ominous "we know where you live".
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The 72-year-old, who lives in Whaddon Road, was advised by bereavement councillors to join social groups and organisations when her husband died in 2006.
As well as joining the BNP to meet new people, she became a member of the Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Green parties, as well as signing up to the Quakers, the Spiritualists and a local Buddhist group.
The former language teacher said after two BNP meetings early last year, she and her elderly friend realised it wasn't for them and cut ties with the party. She said: "I don't want to insult them but it was really quite boring. Not at all something for old ladies to do.
"Anyone who knows me, knows I don't share the views of the BNP. I'm not a member and I wish people would stop phoning me.
"I did try to explain to these people the situation, but they just didn't seem interested and were angry and unpleasant to me. I called the police because I am a little bit worried and I want it to stop.
"I am going to try to contact the BNP and ask them to take me off their list."
George and June Papps woke up on Saturday morning to find their home in Lysons Avenue, Gloucester, had been vandalised, with graffiti saying BNP Scum scrawled on a wall.
The couple, aged 79 and 77, are both recovering from cancer and said they were singled-out because their son, who has moved away, is a member.
George said: "It's very upsetting. We have been here for more than 30 years and this is our family home. We have nothing to do with the BNP and everyone who knows us knows that.
"We want to ask whoever did this to leave us alone."
There have been four other reports of vandalism in Cecil Road, Brunswick Road, Station Road andBristol Road, all in Gloucester.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire police said: "Criminal damage is never tolerated. We are keeping an eye on other properties on that list to try to avoid a repeat. Anyone with any information should call as our investigation is ongoing."