Preston streets could be breeding ground for racism
Racial hatred is threatening to turn Preston into a breeding ground for extremism, a community leader has warned.
Sohail Nawaz has warned that ignoring the views held by Muslims towards other ethnic groups, such as white and black people, would lead to “violent extremism” being bred in the city.
He said that research had shown that a study of the city’s young Muslims had shown some thought it would be “cool” if terrorists were in possession of nuclear weapons. Mr Nawaz was speaking at an event organised by ethnic minority voluntary group Shabash, of which he is a director, to promote tolerance and understanding.
In a powerful speech, he called on the city’s Muslim community to “look inside yourselves and question” the consequences of the “racist views” some hold against other communities.
He warned that denying this racism existed was the biggest danger facing the communities in Preston.
Mr Nawaz, a former secretary of the Raza Mosque in Deepdale, said: “Terrorism has no religion. Terrorism is a weapon of communists, fascists, dictators, it is not the work of truly religious people.”
Teens will look pretty in pink
Bright pink lighting intended to embarrass trouble making teens by highlighting their spotty faces could be installed across Preston within a month.
Insp John Ainsworth, of Lea police, said today that his bid to see Preston become the first city to make full use of the lights has received a positive response since the Evening Post broke the story last month.
He is still waiting for the results of a funding bid for the project, but expects it to come through soon.
The lights, which are intended to create a calming atmosphere to quell the threat of criminal behaviour, could be installed in Larches, Savick, Plungington and Ingol. Insp Ainsworth intends to speak with the owners of various buildings in each area.
He said he has picked two definite locations out of the list, although he has not yet revealed which they are.
The lights would be attached to buildings where gangs of youths are known to gather and cause problems. Insp Ainsworth said Savick shops in West Park Avenue, Ingol shops at Grantham Road and Plungington Road are among the provisional sites.
He said: “It has been a fairly positive reaction to the plan.
“I think some people find it a bit curious and we don’t know if it going to work or not, but the bottom line is it is cheap so let’s try it and see what happens.”
Ward councillor for Ingol Peter Pringle said: “I think it’s a good idea if it works. I think it needs a trial first to see how it goes.
“It is unusual but it might deter these gangs of youths so it is worth a try.
“There are real problems with gangs of youths round here.”
The pink lights have previously been trialed in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.
Jail cells in Missouri, USA, have previously been painted pink in a bid to calm down rioting prisoners.
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Loos of the future planned for Preston
Futuristic loos could be placed on Preston’s city centre streets to relieve desperate revellers.
The pay-as-you-go public toilets, which would be self-cleaning, would be available after dark on the city’s main streets – and then sink underground during the day.
Police want the cubicle-style conveniences, which have proved a hit in other city centres, to be built in public view areas including Fishergate, Friargate and the Church Street area.
Officials from Preston Council are now drawing up plans for funding for the facilities, having launched a public consultation into the problem in September.
PC Chris Barton, a community beat manager for the city centre, told a meeting of the housing and direct services review board: “We would like to see something like facilities where you pay 20p and go into a single cubicle. They are self-cleaning and positioned in prominent locations in the city centre.
“They would have doors facing on to main thoroughfares, be well lit and in view of lots of cameras, so any behaviour going on outside them would be easy to monitor.”