Stephen Lawrence centre attacked by vandals

An architectural centre built in honour of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence was vandalised last night, only one week after it opened, police said.

The incident is being treated as racial and is being investigated by the hate crime unit, Scotland Yard confirmed.

Vandals threw bricks at the centre on Brookmill Road in Deptford, south-east London.

Police were called at 5.45am following reports that six large windows had been broken.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "The incident is being treated as racial. That follows an allegation by a member of public.

"The incident is being investigated by our hate crime unit at Lewisham CID."

The London Development Agency said the incident follows several other attacks on the centre over the past few months.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said he was "disgusted" by the attack, which comes only one week after the building was officially opened.

"It also comes on the anniversary of the inquest that confirmed Stephen's death to be an unprovoked racist murder, and will be even more distressing for his mother, Doreen, who has fought to establish this cultural landmark for the whole community," Mr Livingstone said.

"I would urge anyone to come forward immediately if they can assist the police investigation," he added.

The London Development Agency, which helped fund the centre, has offered its assistance.

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