LONDON (AA) – Asylum seekers in Britain have claimed they have been attacked after a housing company painted the front doors to all their homes red, local media reported Wednesday.
“They put us behind red doors,” one man whose house was targeted told The Times newspaper. “When people see them, everyone knows it means asylum seekers. It’s like saying we’re not the same as you.”
According to The Times, asylum seekers’ houses have had dog excrement smeared on the doors and eggs and stones thrown at windows.
A symbol for the defunct far-right National Front was also scratched into the front door of one house.
The homes in Middlesbrough, northeast England, are managed by Jomast, a subcontractor for security group G4S that holds the government contract to house asylum seekers.
The Times said one householder repainted the door white, only for Jomast to return it to its original color as part of “company policy”.
Ian Swales, a former lawmaker for the area, compared the red paint to the yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said he was “deeply concerned” and ordered an inquiry.
“If we find any evidence of discrimination against asylum seekers it will be dealt with immediately as any such behavior will not be tolerated,” he said.
G4S has since announced it will repaint the doors.
Middlesbrough has Britain’s highest concentration of asylum seekers with one in every 173 residents seeking to stay. There were 25,771 asylum applications in the U.K. in the year ending June 2015.
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