'We weren't told'

GRIFFITH Police have hit back at criticism from members of the Sikh community who claimed their complaints fell on deaf ears.

The Area News reported last week the Sikh community had considered boycotting local businesses because they felt ostracised from the town.

Griffith Police Inspector Stuart Gair said the police weren't told about the racist nature of the graffiti and they could only assume it was a standard case of malicious damage.

"We investigate all matters of graffiti but there was no attempt to convey the added significance of racism, which naturally increases the severity and priority of the crime," Inspector Gair said.

"Unfortunately vital information was withheld because the Sikh community felt ashamed about the racist message and they feared further reprisals if they reported the extent of the graffiti to police.

"Once it became known there were racial overtones we tasked our police to make daily patrols of the temple and the crimes unit in Sydney has become involved."

Police weren't able to recover any forensic evidence from the scene because of the delay to the investigation and the added difficulty of inspecting a construction site.

Residents neighbouring the temple have been canvassed but so far there are no suspects.

The Sikh community has increased security at the temple by strengthening the fence and installing more lights in response to advice from the police officers who determined the security was lax.

Member for Murrumbidgee, Adrian Piccoli, has contributed his two cents, condemning the attack on Griffith's proudly diverse and harmonious community.

"Graffiti is despised because it is ugly and offensive and this latest act of vandalism is just not acceptable to our community," Mr Piccoli said.

"I know many of the people in the Sikh community in Griffith and I have spoken to members of the community in the last few days about their concerns over the recent incidents of graffiti vandalism of the Sikh temple.

"I'd like to again assure them the wonderful multicultural community of Griffith will continue to prosper and the Sikh community are a very important part of that."

Police have reminded the community reporting crime accurately and in full without delay is critical.

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