A room to let notice that banned Indians, Pakistanis and Africans from responding has provoked outrage.

The handwritten advertisement appeared in the window of the Mitcham News newsagent in Upper Green East last Monday, August 20, and was also spotted in Bineet newsagent in London Road on Tuesday, August 28.

Iyabode Animashaun, 64, who lives in Armfield Crescent, Mitcham, said: “It’s appalling. I find it offensive.”

Recalling riots in the Westbourne Park area of London in the 1950s, in which signs were posted stating “No blacks, no dogs, no Irish”, the 64-year-old former council road sweeper said: “You can’t permeate that mentality. That mentality has to stop.

“We’re living in a multi-cultural society and it is a really bad attitude to have.”

An employee of the Asian-owned Mitcham News was unperturbed by the advert and declined to comment.

But he did confirm the window advertisements earn the shop £1 each for a one week display.

Police confirmed such an advertisement could fall foul of legislation under the Public Order Act if its content causes harassment, alarm or distress and said they would follow-up on the report.

When contacted, the author of the advertisement laughed when it was put to him that language he used in the posting could be offensive to ethnic minorities.

He said: “It is not racist. We want to live with other eastern European people and I don’t want to waste anybody’s time.

“If you don’t like it, don’t call me, it’s simple. I’ve seen many other ads like this so it’s normal.”

Racism or personal preference? Leave a comment below, call 020 8722 6333, tweet @WimbledonNews or email: newsdesk@wimbledonguardian.co.uk.