How gangs of racist thugs in balaclavas attack family's home and abuse them in the street - leaving them in fear for their lives

Fatmata and Umair Habib say they have been targeted by gangs since 2021Gangs of racist youths have shouted abuse and thrown stones at their home Have you been victimised by these gangs? Email [email protected]

Gangs of racist thugs wearing balaclavas have left one desperate family fearing for their lives, having subjected them to racial abuse in the streets, rubbish strewn over their driveway and objects thrown at their windows.

On one occasion, their eldest son was accosted in the street and 'spat on and choked until he couldn't breathe'.

Fatmata and Umair Habib settled in Netherley, in Liverpool, Merseyside, around eight years ago after moving from London.

The couple relate how three of their five children were born in Liverpool, they love their jobs at Aintree University Hospital and for a number of years they enjoyed a better quality of life.

But for the last four years the family's home has been terrorised by gangs of masked youths who loiter threateningly outside, throw rubbish over their driveway and target windows with rocks and eggs.

Fatmata and Umair Habib, from Netherley, Liverpool, say they have been targeted by gangs wearing balaclavas over the last four years, subjecting them to racial abuse in the streets, rubbish strewn over their driveway and objects thrown at their windows

Fatmata and Umair Habib, from Netherley, Liverpool, say they have been targeted by gangs wearing balaclavas over the last four years, subjecting them to racial abuse in the streets, rubbish strewn over their driveway and objects thrown at their windows

Mrs Habib, 35, told Liverpool Echo that their 13-year-old son, who has autism and is asthmatic, has also been repeatedly attacked on his way home from school.

The mum added the family's issues have continually been raised with both Merseyside Police and Riverside housing association.

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said multi-agency meetings are ongoing with the family, while Riverside added its dedicated housing team would be conducting a review of the family's situation.

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However, Mrs Habib claimed both are not doing enough to ensure the family are safe in their own home.

The mum-of-five said: 'The abuse has been ongoing for over four years.

'When we moved here everything was okay, we have lovely neighbours. We are the type of people who mind our own business.

'We both work full time at Aintree Hospital. But the children started pushing over our bins and throwing rubbish over the front drive.

'They throw rocks or eggs at our windows and doors every single day. We hear the boom when we are inside.

'We brought a camera to cover the front of the house.

'We have called the police who told us they need evidence, but we have shown them the footage but nothing is done.

'For them it's like watching a movie, but this is our reality.'

The mum claimed she has notified Merseyside Police and Riverside of at least one address of a teenager suspected of being involved in the incidents.

She claimed Riverside said letters would be sent to the house issuing a tenancy warning letter.

It is understood this was carried out, but no further evidence has connected this child or anyone from another Riverside household to incidents since.

The Habibs both work full time at Aintree University Hospital, having moved to Liverpool from London eight years ago

The Habibs both work full time at Aintree University Hospital, having moved to Liverpool from London eight years ago

Footage from the camera at the front of the house shows hooded teenagers standing outside the property and throwing objects at it.

These pieces of footage cover a period of time that dates back to 2021.

In the Easter holidays, a group of masked teenagers repeatedly kicked on the family's front door while Mrs Habib was at home with the children alone because her husband was at work.

She claimed her children shouted 'stop, you are scaring us', before the police arrived around three hours later.

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Mrs Habib, who is of African descent while her husband is from Pakistan, claimed the family have been repeatedly racially abused in the street.

She added her oldest son has also been attacked when walking home from after-school club.

She claimed he has been 'spat on and choked until he couldn't breathe'.

Merseyside Police confirmed they received a report in January this year regarding the assault.

Mrs Habib said her son took a photo of his attackers, but nothing has been done.

The family have recently contacted the Anthony Walker Foundation, a racism and hate crime charity, and local MP Maria Eagle's office for help.

Mrs Habib added she has taken three months off sick due to the stress of the situation.

She said: 'I can't think, I can't sleep. I'm so scared thinking what will happen.

'My family in London are so scared. I have a job that I love, my husband loves his job, my kids love Liverpool.'

A spokesperson for Riverside said: 'We are truly sorry to hear of the Habib family's distress following reports of harassment in their community.

At Riverside, we have a zero-tolerance policy towards discriminatory language or actions that could cause a hostile environment, and do not tolerate behaviour that prevents our customers from feeling secure in their neighbourhood.

A view over Netherley, where the family happily settled eight years ago, but claim they have been subjected to harassment from gangs since 2021

A view over Netherley, where the family happily settled eight years ago, but claim they have been subjected to harassment from gangs since 2021

'We want to reassure the family that we are continuing to take their concerns seriously and are doing everything we can to support them, including working closely with the local police overseeing their case and liaising with other agencies involved.

'Our dedicated housing team have also been conducting a review of the family's situation, and we will be in touch to arrange a home visit to discuss further ways we can assist them.

'We understand that unfortunately the police are yet to have identified those involved in the incidents reported by the Habib family, but we will continue to support their investigations where possible and act accordingly on their findings.

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Our team are available for anyone experiencing concerns relating to anti-social behaviour, but we ask that you call 999 in the event of an emergency or to report incidents of hate crime.'

Merseyside Police Detective Inspector Jemma Berry said: 'We have studied CCTV footage, spoken to witnesses and carried out extensive enquiries to identify the offenders.

'We continue to work with the family and made a referral to the Anthony Walker Foundation to provide them with support.

'Our specialist hate crime coordinator is also in regular contact with the family, and multi-agency meetings are regularly held to discuss further support for the family, and this work is ongoing.

'In Merseyside, we believe that everyone should be able to live their lives without fear of being subjected to verbal or physical abuse.

'We are committed to tackling hate in our communities and would strongly encourage all victims to come forward and report such incidents.

'Where we identify a crime, we take firm action and offer the support of partner agencies to ensure the person reporting gets the assistance they need to feel safe.'

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