The Independent reports on an appeal for witnesses by the Metropolitan Police Service after officers were called to an alleged Islamophobic attack on a woman on a bus near Elephant and Castle tube station.
The paper reports that officers were alerted to the incident by passengers on the number 63 bus after a Muslim woman was allegedly assaulted by two young women.
The incident occurred around 8pm on Wednesday 28 October. The headscarf clad female passenger, who is in her forties, was allegedly harassed by the two young women on the bus who took photos of her while making racist and Islamophobic comments.
Antonia Bance, who was waiting for a bus at a stop near Elephant and Castle station said that she looked up to find a woman in a pink hijab lying on the floor near the back doors of the bus. She said that passengers on the bus were involved in a scuffle as some tried to restrain and take photos of the two women who allegedly committed the assault.
Speaking to the victim, Bance said she was told that an argument had ensued on the bus and the two women had kicked the victim in the stomach and she fell backwards off the bus.
Bance said, “People were trying to hold on to these girls, they were taking videos and photos, and a few called the police.”
“Straight away people picked the lady up off the floor, they were giving her hugs and helping her with her shopping.”
“It’s an awful, awful thing to happen, but everyone there was trying their best to help.”
The victim is said to be badly shaken but not seriously injured.
The suspects have been described as black females in their twenties, and police are appealing for witnesses.
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101, quoting reference number 3031350/15, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
It is the third such report in recent weeks following two previous incidents. A woman who abused and threatened two Muslim females on a bus in Willesden Green pleaded guilty to charges of racially or religiously aggravated behaviour on 20 October after video footage of her tirade was uploaded online. A couple of days later, a man who verbally abused an elderly Turkish man and threw his Zimmer frame off a bus pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence. The incidents have sparked a petition signed by more than 30,000 calling on Transport for London to do more to tackle hate crime on the capital’s public transport network.