Officers investigating a series of incidents that took place over the course of the weekend of 12/13 January in east London, whereby a small group of individuals were seen to approach and harass members of the public at various locations, have arrested two men.
A 22-year-old man [A] was arrested in the Acton area on Sunday, 20 January and a 19-year-old man [B] who voluntarily attended an east London police station on Monday, 21 January have been arrested in connection with the investigation.
The pair were arrested on suspicion of GBH and Public Order offences and have been bailed to return to an east London police station on a dates in February and March pending further enquiries.
Walking along side the unnamed man, they ask, ‘Don’t you know this is a Muslim area?’, before going on to criticise his clothing and his face for looking ‘gay’.
‘Why you dressed like that for? the men who are holding the camera ask and hidden from view, to which the victim replies, ‘Why are you following me?’
‘Because you’re walking through a muslim area looking like a fag.’ came the chilling reply.
Talking to the Daily Mail, Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim organisation which campaigns for a peaceful co-existence among communities, has condemned the group’s behaviour.
He said: ‘We live in the UK and we are governed by UK law, there should be no mob rule. If people are involved in this behaviour then it is worrying but it is an isolated incident.’
The Metropolitan Police Service takes these incidents very seriously and is pursuing various lines of enquiry with a view to identifying and prosecuting the individuals concerned.
The investigation is being coordinated by the Community Safety Unit at Tower Hamlets.
Patrols continue across east London to reassure local communities.