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Just to inform you all that my husband was mugged just after 5 p.m. Yesterday by 4 foreign men, he believed they spoke in either Lithuanian or Russian. They slammed him into the railing by the Minstergate underpass on the Abbey side and stole his mobile phone. He grabbed one of them but the fellow shouted to his 3 friends who turned back, so my husband let the man go.

Please be aware and warn your family and friends to be vigilant, but also not to try to take them on if they do rob you as you are likely to end up fighting all of them. I am grateful my husband saw sense but angry that people think they have a right to do this.

I am not demonising any foreigners and had they been British I would have also included that in the description, just identifying this particular group so that people can watch out for them. Common sense says be vigilant with everyone, especially when they are in groups.


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Bill T inactive
i am not racist in any way but i have found that eastern european younger people just have no scruples whatsoever , and dont give a damn about anything or any body
Kamilla C
There are bad and good people in every society and from every walk of life. I am ashamed that people close to my country are behaving like that.  I am personally from Kazakhstan, speak Russian and it hurts when people start to pin point where you are from when you have done something bad.  I personally never heard that soemone praised foreign people who do something good.  I don't want to argue, but please don't pint point.  People are different. 
Caroline J
Any group of young men (regardless of race) hanging around underpasses and other 'quiet'areas sadly puts me on the alert, I am not comfortable to walk past. them and will walk further to avoid them.
What Kamilla has to understand is that in recent years Thetford has had a large influx of migrants, including a lot of young men who seem to spend their free time drinking and behaving badly; Shouting, littering urinating in public, in the streets and along the river corridor. They seem to have no respect for their chosen home or its people. Unfortunately this does tarnish the reputation of all the migrant community - its human nature to lump everyone together. Perhaps the decent migrants - of whom there are many - should do something to tackle this bad behaviour.
Dave W
Very eloquently put Caroline J, I think it is a sad fact of local life that MANY people feel this way about the comings and goings of our town.
Marie Levaux
Kamilla, as I said, I would also point out if they had been British and I agree totally that there are good and bad in every community. I was merely advising people to be aware of this particular group of thieves. If they had all been wearing Ronald McDonald costumes then I would have used that to warn people, unfortunately that was not the case. I give praise where praise is due. I am a foreigner myself and I am sometimes embarrassed by my own countrymen's behaviour but I like to think that if they behaved like this in any country that their own people would also like to see them punished rather than give their people a bad reputation. I have worked with, and recruited Eastern Europeans, Indians, Africans, Americans and other foreign nationals and found them all to be very nice people with exemplary work and life ethics. This is not pin pointing, it is identifying. If you have never heard people praise foreign people then you are probably missing out on the presence of the majority of British people as most I speak to have nothing but praise for foreign nationals, it is just sad when the minority let the majority down. I will also go as far as to say that some people of all nationalities have a chip on their shoulder and behave obnoxiously. Another characteristic is not mixing with the locals and using the local language. After all, this is the only way my husband knew where these men were from originally. May have been a bit more difficult had they been speaking in the British language.
Jo W

Hi I work in schools, our organisation believes that by creating opportunities to break down barriers, and to educate in a broader understanding and acceptance of differences, traditional rivalries may be forgotten and replaced by more positive attitudes to inclusion.  I agree with Kamilla we often focus more on differences, disharmony and disruption rather than the advantages that unity and a better cultural understanding can bring to human societies. We should embrace difference and celebrate diversity.

 We want "Tomorrow’s Children" to grow up in a world where they can make their own informed decisions of how and what they want to do with their lives, free from the barriers of inherited prejudices.

Please sign post schools to our website  We can make a difference by “Reconnecting the common heritage of humanity and communities to the benefit of present and future generations”

Marie Levaux
Jo W. if we lived in a world where people did not feel they had a right to commit crimes against others then no description would be required.  So do you think that the police should not ask for descriptions of perpetrators? Do you think that people should not be warned about a particular group of thieves because they are foreign nationals? I would love to live in a world where there were no criminals so that no such description was necessary! The common heritage between humans should include good behaviour when you are a guest in another country.  

You and Kamilla appear not to have read the full note where I explained that this was purely a description and had they been British I would have included that in the description.  Perhaps the understanding and acceptance you talk about should be applied to those who are about to take up residency in a foreign land in as much as they agree to behave in a way that does not give their countrymen a bad name and perhaps they should accept that if they break the law that they will disgrace their countrymen.  Perhaps instead of complaining about me pointing out where they are from becoming the focal point, maybe their countrymen that feel ashamed of what they have done should have some code of conduct where they ensure that their fellow countrymen entering other countries should act as ambassadors instead of complaining when they disgrace themselves.  

I am all for diversity and inclusion.  I am against crime, full stop, and being asked to embrace a person just because they are not from this country.  This is not traditional rivalry, it is people committing an act that is detrimental to their fellow man.

How about we make all foreign nationals exempt from our legal system? Or we could protect those that are good upstanding members of the community by standing up against ALL criminals.
Wendy R
If I had had the words in my head I would have written them just the same. Thankyou Marie.
Chris M
Well said Marie. I thought your comments were well balanced and fair. 

Jo, whilst I agree with your statement that '..we often focus more on differences, disharmony and disruption rather than the advantages that unity and a better cultural understanding can bring to human societies' as the son of an immigrant father I also feel that a degree of integration is also necessary for all communities.

I was brought up with an understanding and recognition of my fathers Polish culture and know that  it has helped to shape me into the man I am. While he retained his cultural identity he also embraced the British way of life and enjoyed life here to the full. Part of what he taught me was respect for the law and customs, and expectations of whatever country you choose to live in, be that say, a Brit living in Thailand like my brother does or a european living in the UK. 

I also realise that the world has changed over the years and that groups of young men hanging around drinking  are not restricted to newcomers to the UK and can be found all over the country not just in Thetford. A sad sign of the times I fear.

Tolerance and respect - YES, acceptance of bad behavior from any group or culture -NO.
Respect goes both ways but respect for the law should be universal.
Marie Levaux
I have heard today that this group have struck at least once again in the last few days, this time on a young lady.

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