A documentary to be shown on the BBC tonight will show a catalogue of racist abuse towards two undercover reporters living on a housing estate in Bristol.
Tamanna Rahman and Amil Khan spent two months living in Southmead for the Panorama programme Undercover: Hate on the Doorstep. Posing as a married couple with limited English, they were racially abused more than 50 times by children and adults, and suffered physical assault.
The report was initiated in the wake of Trevor Phillips, head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, sayingÂ that having neighbours of a different ethnic background is no longer an issue in modern Britain when compared to other countries.
The reality is very different for the BBC reporters who, they reveal, were intimidated, racially insulted, and threatened with bottles and bricks.
Ms Rahman, recounting her experience on the Panorama website, said: “Before we began filming, Southmead was identified to us by the group Support Against Racist Incidents (SARI) as an area where recent racially motivated attacks had occurred. Other estates and areas around the country were also highlighted by race campaign groups.
“It must be said that some people were lovely and in an estate like Southmead, many have their own issues to deal with, especially during tough economic times.
But I was not looking for special treatment in Southmead, I was looking to be treated like everyone else – not to be reduced to a four letter word that starts with ‘P’.”
The documentary comes on the day research from the National Centre for Social Research showed that people with African and Asian names have to send nearly twice as many job applications before getting an interview than those with white English names.
Applications were sent for 987 vacancies between November 2008 and May 2009. The jobs applied for included accountants, IT staff, care workers and sales assistants and were based in Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, London and Manchester.
The report found there was no plausible explanation for the difference in treatment other than racial discrimination.
The BBC Panorama programme is on BBC1 at 8.30pm