A FAMILY says celebrations turned to fear as young and old barricaded themselves inside a building to escape a mob hurling bricks.
Cars were damaged and family members say they were subjected to racial abuse outside the Masonic Hall, Blackwall, Bull Close Lane, Halifax.
They say it took police well over an hour to arrive, by which time the 30-strong mob had dispersed.
The party was held to celebrate a 16th birthday on Saturday and was attended by 80 people aged from two to 85.
Peter Salmons, 62, said people were waiting for lifts home when a group of Asian youths congregated by Balmoral Place.
Because the family feared trouble, Mr Salmons said he decided to get everybody back inside the building.
"Then the bricks started flying. They were breaking red bricks on the wall by the Nashayman Housing Association and throwing them and shouting racist abuse."
He said nobody was hurt but cars were damaged, including his Ford Fiesta, which suffered £500 damage.
Mr Salmons said the police were rung repeatedly, first at 11.16pm, but it took one hour 23 minutes for two officers to arrive.
"It is disgusting. We were only 30 yards from the town centre where there were police Transit vans," said Mr Salmons, of Bradshaw, Halifax.
Another partygoer said it was a terrifying experience.
"People were scared and we had to lock the doors," he said.
A police spokesman said: "We were called to reports of youths throwing bricks at 00.30 on Sunday. Unfortunately, at the time the force was experiencing a network problem affecting several IT systems," he said.
"Contingency plans were used to maintain levels of service and normal service was resumed shortly afterwards. This might have caused a delay in this instance."
Friday, 28 August 2009
From The Halifax Courier: