POLICE HAVE MADE a total of eight arrests following last Friday’s late night attack on a young Iranian Kurdish man who was waiting at a Croydon bus stop. Police had previously classified the attack as a hate crime and have undertaken a number of high visibility patrols in the area over the weekend.
The victim remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition. He is reported to have suffered a broken skull and a blood clot on the brain.
Six people were arrested on Saturday – from various addresses in Croydon – on suspicion of attempted murder and violent disorder. They were held in custody at a south London police station. The six include four men (three 20 year olds and one 24 year old) and two women (aged 20 and 24). The 20 year old woman was later released from custody and police have said that no further action will be taken against her.
A further three people were arrested on Sunday: two men (aged 23 and 26) and a 17 year old woman.
Witnesses spoke of their horror at seeing the attack in Shrublands Road in Croydon and said this kind of attack was unusual for the area, where people generally get along with each other. Since the attack, graffiti has appeared in the area, saying simply “refugees welcome”.
Accounts were given of a crowd arriving from the direction of The Goat pub in nearby Broom Road and then eight or ten people attacking the asylum seeker with around 20 people looking on, encouraging the attack. The size of the crowd apparently deterred many people from coming to the assistance of the victim during the attack.
Witnesses have also reported that as soon as police sirens were hear, the crowd ran off – back in the direction of The Goat pub. The Goat had problems just over a year ago, when anti-social behaviour at the Pub led councillors to consider revoking its licence. Councillors removed the pub supervisor, Patson Ngoma, from his position as Designated Premises Supervisor because he had failed to adhere to his licence conditions.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has condemned the attack, saying “Hate crime has no place in London, Britain or anywhere else.” He said there would always be a zero tolerance approach to hate crimes in London.
The incident occurred in the parliamentary constituency of Croydon Central. The local Tory MP, Gavin Barwell, spoke out very strongly against the attack, referring to the attackers as “scum” and encouraging the public to assist the police. His comments are welcome, though the stance he has taken on this individual incident is somewhat tinged by the fact that he is a member of a Government which has little sympathy for asylum seekers.
The victim’s name is not being released until his next of kin have been informed.
•Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call Croydon CID during office hours on 020-3276 2234 or 101 or to phone Crimestoppers (who will keep call anonymous and confidential) on 0800-555 111.
•Hate crime in Croydon: asylum seeker attacked: