A Dundee shop owner said he feels upset after he and an employee were racially attacked by two teenage girls.
Muhammad Nadeem, who owns the Premier store in Strathmartine Road, has told how two girls hurled racist abuse and one of the teens slapped a member of his staff across the face.
A neighbour of the shop was forced to intervene and to pull the girls apart during the attack on Monday night.
Muhammad said the two girls were damaging the signs outside his shop and when he asked them to stop they began swearing and shouting racist abuse at him.
He said: “Everybody is telling me it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault, because they were being cheeky and swearing.
“It upset me and it upset our staff as well, it was very bad swearing.
“They kicked the window of my shop, they kicked the door.
“I have a customer upstairs, he notices the noise here and comes down and my staff member is here and one of the girls gives her a slap.
Muhammad said he experiences occasional racism but never to the extent he was subjected to this week.
“I try my best all the time because I have regular customers here,” he added.
“It’s a local community shop, it’s nice to be nice here.
“Sometimes there is trouble with people here with swearing and being racist but I just ignore it.
“I’ve been here four years at this shop and this has never happened before.
“I felt very happy that our regular customer upstairs came to help.
“He is the only customer in maybe 100 customers who would offer support for me.”
The police are now investigating the attack, which happened at around 9.20pm on Monday.
‘They slapped one of the employees’
Regular customer to the store, Charlie Hunter, was in his flat above the shop when he heard racist abuse being shouted by two girls from the street below.
When he got there, he said a member of staff from the store who was shifting stock outside was assaulted by one of the teenage girls.
Charlie said: “I just live directly above, two floors up, and I heard them shouting racist abuse.
“I threw my hat on and my shoes and just went straight down to see if I could help them out.
“At that point the two girls were just attacking both the owner, Muhammad, and one of the employees.
“They slapped one of the employees in the face, the female employee.
“She just didn’t know what to do, she was standing there like what am I supposed to do?
“What is this all about?
“She wasn’t even part of the argument, she was getting stock from next door and just got caught up in the middle of it.
“I dragged them apart from each other and stood in between the shop owner and the girls that were shouting abuse.”
‘No police came at all’
Charlie said he phoned the police and told the girls they were being racist and to leave but the girls came back a second time.
“We called the police three times, 999 three times, even after they came back a second time and they ripped up his shop signs,” he said.
“No police got to us, no police came at all.
“I waited for the police but nobody came and then the police phoned me in the morning to say they’ll come and take a statement in the afternoon.”
Charlie said he was disgusted to see such racist language used against innocent shop workers.
He said: “I’ve lived here for just over two years and I go into that shop every day.
“I was totally disgusted that they were using this kind of language, in fact, abusing anyone at their work.
“I know the guys down there work 14-hour days and the last thing they need is something like that happening.
“It was just totally disgusting behaviour.”
Charlie described how he and the shop staff felt helpless during the incident.
He said: “I think with no police turning up they just decided to come back again.
“I felt totally helpless for the shop staff so I can only imagine how they’d have felt.
“They told me that somebody was going to be on their way because the third time I called I said ‘where is everyone? People have just been attacked downstairs.’ And nobody was coming.
Charlie said that more should be done in Dundee to prevent racist attacks.
He said: “We need to stand up to this type of treatment in Dundee.
“It’s not enough to not be racist anymore, you have to be anti-racist or else it will just keep happening.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers are carrying out inquiries after a reports of a hate crime at a shop premises in Strathmartine Road, Dundee at 9.20pm on Monday June 14, 2021.”