Keith Tordoff MBE, a former police officer who worked with West Yorkshire from the 1970’s giving more than two decades to the force, in varying roles, from CID, to firearms, to also working on the Peter Sutcliffe serial killer case. He left with an exemplary service record and later took on the running of the country’s oldest sweet shop in Pateley Bridge. Keith is well known for his charity and community work, with notable work for Nidderdale chamber of Trade and Pateley Bridge in bloom and patron of Dementia Forward.
He writes exclusively for Asian Standard on his own perspective and experiences in contrast to the Daily Mail Online’s article, headlined: “British towns that are no-go areas for white people: Muslim author’s study of mosques reveals children ‘attacked for being white’, parents making families live under Taliban-like rules and women who can’t leave home without permission.”
Here’s what Keith had to say after reading the article in the Daily Mail.
I read the article by a reporter in the Daily Mail Online on 4 June (updated – 5 June) which appeared to quote from a ‘ Muslim authors study ‘ that some British Towns ‘are no-go areas for white people’. With such a potential incendiary story, likely in my view to raise tensions in the Towns named in the article, one would have at least expected the Mail Online reporter and ‘ Muslim author to be named.
The article named Bradford and Dewsbury in West Yorkshire which clearly would raise in the minds of those not being familiar with these towns that they are ‘no-go areas for white people’.
Well let me tell you as a white Yorkshireman who lives in North Yorkshire my family do not recognise the description of the Town’s as portrayed in the article. We regularly visit the Towns, which with their rich history make them a great place to visit and, on an evening go for a meal, in the case of Bradford, in the curry capital of the north. As someone who visits the Towns most weeks, I am made welcome in shops which sell an amazing choice of the freshest fruit and vegetables. I visit cafes and restaurants where I see people of all genders and backgrounds mixing, being sociable, interacting with visitors like me.
Often being in the Towns, in the late evening rather than being ‘no- go’ areas we have always found people to be friendly and welcoming. On one occasion when my car would not start having been for a meal at The Sweet Centre on Lumb Lane in Bradford, numerous passing strangers offered us help.
Late at night the restaurant owner Mr Waqar Ali without hesitation in his own car drove my wife and guests the forty miles back to North Yorkshire whilst I waited into the early hours for the recovery of my car. Whilst sat in my car the local taxi firm proprietor at 1am, without me asking brought me a cup of tea. In Bradford and Dewsbury, I have met and am proud to have friends who are Muslim and are some of the kindest and most humble people I have met.
The article in the Mail Online portrayed a dire situation in some of our Towns which, certainly in Bradford and Dewsbury do not reflect mine, my family or friend’s experiences.
Newspapers have a duty to offer balanced reporting and not to create division where there is none which I strongly believe this article has not.
Keith Tordoff MBE
Resident North Yorkshire.