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Does this shooting target found in a Norwich shop incite racial hatred?

PUBLISHED: 12:02 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:54 15 January 2019

One of the targets that had been on display at Looses Emporium. Photo: Luke Powell

One of the targets that had been on display at Looses Emporium. Photo: Luke Powell

Archant

Targets featuring mock-up images of terrorists have been removed from a Norwich antiques shop after a visitor was left “disgusted” by what he saw.

Another target that was on display at Looses Emporium. Photo: Luke PowellAnother target that was on display at Looses Emporium. Photo: Luke Powell

Aaron Fickling, 33, posted a photo on social media of one of the shooting targets on display in the military memorabilia section at Looses Emporium.

It was one of three cardboard targets featuring mock-up photographs of terrorists, including one with a pretend hostage in a hood and another holding an AK-47 rifle.

Mr Fickling said on Twitter he was “shocked” and “totally disgusted” by what he found, and questioned whether the items incited racial hatred.

His views were echoed by serving and former Norwich Green Party councillors, who suggested police consider the matter.

Patrick Wilshire, who runs the store on Magdalen Street, said the items would be removed from the shop floor, but disagreed they incited racial hatred.

He also questioned why Mr Fickling went on social media to express his views, rather than raise the issue with staff.

Mr Wilshire said: “No one has ever complained about these. This is not a racist shop and we have clients from all walks of life come in here.

“If he would have come to the front desk and said about it, we would have taken them off that day.”

Looses Emporium on Magdalen Street. Photo: Luke PowellLooses Emporium on Magdalen Street. Photo: Luke Powell

He said staff had previously removed fox fur from the shop after animal welfare activists asked them to do so in-store.

The three targets were stood up in the shop’s ground floor military section, which features various wartime items.

Mr Wilshire said they belonged to a collector who rents the shop section from him.

Mr Fickling, who lives in Norwich, said he posted the photo on Twitter as he felt it “needed to be talked about”.

He said: “It [the picture] is just playing on stereotypes and the other thing is why is there a market for it?

“There is a certain type of person who would want something like that.”

In his Twitter post, he said: “Sad to see this shooting target on sale at @EmporiumLooses in Norwich.

“Totally disgusted and shocked why there’s a market for this beyond the military. Inciting racial hatred? #stereotype @MagdalenStreet @EDP24 @NorwichGreens what’s your thoughts?”

Norwich Green Party councillor Ben Price responded: “Shocking. Are these even legal? Can it insight racial hatred? Certainly.

“Should @NorwichPoliceUK consider the matter, in my opinion, yes. #Norwich is an open and inclusive city. To ingore [sic], is to be complicit.”

Former city councillor for the Green Party Lesley Grahame added: “Disgusting. ?Worth taking up with police Hate Crime Unit.”

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