Woman's disgust at swastika graffiti in New Mills

The swastika graffiti in New Mills.
The swastika graffiti in New Mills.

A woman has told of her disgust after finding swastika graffiti in the High Peak.

Alison Johnson came across the symbol on the popular Sett Valley Trail in New Mills behind the town's leisure centre.

She said she phoned 101 to alert police on Friday - but they advised her to contact the council.

"I'm very upset," she said.

"To me it feels like an offensive hate crime.

"I thought the police would want to investigate this."

After making that call, Alison contacted an officer directly.

In an emailed reply, the officer said the graffiti should not be treated as a hate crime or hate incident as it was not directed at Alison.

He said police would investigate the matter as a possible hate crime or hate incident if the graffiti had been painted on her property.

“The most we have is criminal damage to a wall but this would have to be reported by the council,” the officer added in his response.

Alison said she has contacted Derbyshire County Council's parks department over the matter.

"They said they are going to look at it," she added.

"They took all the details and took the time to understand my concerns for which I was really grateful."

For centuries the swastika was a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness - before it became associated with the Nazis and racism, hatred and mass murder.

The Sett Valley Trail is a two-and-a-half mile recreational path for walkers, cyclists and horse riders linking New Mills and Hayfield.