29 December 2022

Man sought by police investigating defecation in racism row cricketer Azeem Rafiq’s garden

29 December 2022

Police are looking for a man in connection with reports somebody defecated in the garden of cricketer Azeem Rafiq.

Early this month, Mr Rafiq told MPs about the incident at his Barnsley home as he described the difficulties his family have faced since revealing the racism he encountered in the sport.

During that session in Parliament, the former Yorkshire bowler said: “The downside and the difficult bits have been that my family has been the target of abuse, threats and attacks.

“Recently at my family house there was a bloke in broad daylight who, basically, walked in and out of the garden on the phone before defecating. Bringing a loo roll. And, it looked all very planned.”

Mr Rafiq said that in another incident a man was seen late at night near his home, circling with what looked like a chain in his hand.

“If I was to look at 13 months on from me opening my heart out, all that’s changed really is that me and my family have been driven out of the country,” he told the MPs. “And that’s a sad element of it.”

On Thursday, South Yorkshire Police said officers were looking into an incident in Barnsley on October 5, which it described as a hate crime.

The force issued a picture of a man they want to speak to.

It said in a statement: “At 6.18pm on 5 October, it’s reported that a man defecated in the front garden of an address on Gawber Road, Barnsley.

“It is believed that the incident, which is classed as a public order offence, is racially motivated.

“We are looking to speak to this man as we believe he could help us progress our enquiries.”

Anyone who recognises the man is asked to contact police online or call 101, quoting incident 726 of October 12.

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