Exclusive: Laptops stolen from London BAME LGBT charity suspected as hate crime
Three laptops have been stolen from a BAME LGBT charity based in London in what is suspected to be a hate crime.
Wise Thoughts, who describe themselves as a pioneering LGBT and BAME arts charity in London, discovered that three of their laptops worth £1500 were stolen from their offices in Wood Green this morning.
Project manager of the charity, Subodh Rathod, said that the circumstances of the theft have led the charity to class the incident as a hate crime.
“I came in this morning, and although the doors were locked, that three of our laptops have gone missing. It’s rather unusual that nothing else was taken apart from the laptops,” Rathod said to PinkNews.
“In a building of our size, it’s seen as an opportunistic thing. Why take them in an office full of things that were of much more value?”
“For for a small charity like us, the loss of these machines is a real loss.”
To promote the event, the borough listed the advisory group’s members details in the public domain, which Rathod believes could have put them in the limelight.
“The organisation has been in the limelight recently because of the festival, and we’ve received a lot of support, but this seems to be the key issue,” he said.
“The local borough has issued posters which contain the details of advisory group members. A photo of me is on there, as well as other community members. They know who to get in touch with, and where the person is, and that’s why it’s worrying.”
While the borough’s police force investigates the suspect, whose image was captured on the office’s CCTV footage, Rathod has emphasised that the crime needs to be taken seriously so that LGBT people in Haringey feel safe and supported.
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“In a borough which has very little services for LGBT community members, with little support provided, as the sole organisation providing dedicated support, it jeopardises us even further,” said Rathod.
“Community members access our key services, services where we’re the only point of contact that they have, with access to a social meeting space, it would worry them what happens if another incident like this happens.
“It’s a worry for members and there doesn’t seem to be the same concern when an LGBT organisation is affected by it,” he added.
The charity will still be running the final day of GFest, which takes place tomorrow, in spite of the theft.