Six teenagers have been arrested after a video emerged appearing to show a former Sikh temple being trashed.
The video was originally posted on Snapchat and has since gone viral.
It appears to show the youths causing damage by to the derelict site in Clarence Place by smashing plates and throwing around long pieces of wood or metal.
Police were notified of the incident at 12.07am yesterday (June 23).
It is understood the building was a former Sikh temple and had stood derelict for a number of years.
Four 16-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy, all from the local area, were arrested in the connection with the incident yesterday afternoon (June 14).
A sixth teen has also since been arrested.
A Kent Police spokesman: “We do not underestimate the impact that a crime of this nature may have on a community and would like to reassure the public we are taking the report very seriously.
“We are working closely with the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara and other community partners in establishing the circumstances of this incident. The investigation is currently ongoing.”
The spokesman added, at the present time, there is nothing to suggest the incident was a hate crime.
A still taken from the video
The video, which was shared on Snapchat and later on Facebook, has been watched almost 90,000 times since it was uploaded yesterday (June 22).
More than 1,000 people have commented on social media, many branding the teenagers, who appear to be mainly boys, as “disrespectful” and “idiots”.
Former Gravesham councillor Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi said in a statement: “Vandalism, even of a building that has been empty for about five years, is highly disrespectful and disappointing to say the least.
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi
“We together have all done a great deal in Gravesham over the years to build a united and integrated community.
“Please don’t let the foolishness of a few children spoil that wonderful achievement.”
Kent Police were called to the site just after midnight and have now identified a number of those involved in the clips
This shot appears to show a youth throwing around poles
A spokesman said: “Kent Police was to a report of criminal damage at a derelict property in Clarence Place, Gravesend.
“Officers are continuing to make enquiries into their investigation of this incident. At the present time there is nothing to suggest this was a hate crime.” via newsshopper.co.uk
LONDON: A disused gurdwara in southeast England has been vandalised by a group of teenagers, a video circulating on the social media today showed, prompting police to probe the incident.
A large number of teenagers, mostly boys, can be heard laughing and cheering as they smash displays, throw crockery and caused damage in the empty place of worship in a video posted on SnapChat.
“We have been informed of the video that is circulating social media and have been working with Kent Police to ensure this matter is dealt with seriously. We will be working to re-secure the building as soon as possible,” said a spokesperson for the former gurdwara in Gravesend, Kent.
The video was shared via SnapChat and captioned: “Temple got mash up” and was later posted in a local Facebook group in Gravesend.
Tarsem Singh Mahil, general secretary of the new Gravesend gurdwara, told ‘KentOnline’: “This is very bad news, and it’s quite upsetting. There is a risk this will cause animosity within different communities, we don’t want that.”
“It’s in the police’s hands now, we need to let them deal with this.”
The building has been empty for a few years as it awaits planning permission to be sold to a developer to convert into flats.
A new grand gurdwara, named Guru Nanak Darbar, had opened in Gravesend in 2010.
A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called at 12.07am on Thursday, 23 June to a report of criminal damage at a derelict property in Clarence Place, Gravesend.”
“Officers have attended and an investigation is currently ongoing.”