INDEX April 13, 1987
Terror campaign linked to rate rise

Standard Reporter

A TAPE recording could help detectives trap the people behind a hate campaign being waged against a London Labour leader, which has already seen his home fire bombed.

Neil Gerrard, who heads Labour-controlled Waltham Forest Council has received letters threatening to kill him and several phone calls before the bombing.

He believes that people angry over 62 per cent rate rises may even make a serious attempt on his life.

His telephone answering machine, now being studied by police voice experts, includes one call from a man claiming to be from the National Front telling Mr Gerrard: "We are going to get you."

Mr Gerrard, who lives in Campbell Road, Walthamstow, said: "Obviously, it is a possibility that someone might try to kill me.

"Whoever has been making these calls has to be quite unstable.

"I will be talking to the police and following whatever advice they give me as far as security goes/There have been several threats on my life as well as abusive phone-calls over the past week and this latest incident is, of course, quite serious.

"I don't think what happened is anything, whatsoever, to do with mainstream politics. .


"At the public meeting and demonstration last week people expressed disapproval at the rate rise but in an orderly way."

A serious blaze was averted in Friday's petrol bomb incident after neighbours heard the bottle smashing against Mr Gerrard's front door and saw flames around the door.

They immediately called the fire brigade.

Mr Gerrard said: "It was very lucky that neighbours heard the noise.

The 44-year-old councillor was at a ward meeting when he heard about the fire-bomb attack.

Detectives suspect that the petrol bomb was probably lobbed into the porch by someone on foot with a getaway car waiting around a corner.

London Evening Standard April 13, 1987.
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