Racial abuse incidents investigated in Houghton

23 Jun 2017 12:41 PM

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Police are appealing for witnesses following several incidents of aggravated racial verbal abuse in Houghton.

In just over a week alone there have been four reported incidents of youths shouting abuse at the same woman in the Hetton Front Street area of Hetton- Le-Hole.

The most recent incident happened on Thursday, June 22, at 9.37pm near the gate of the park. There have been other recent reported incidents also of verbal abuse, on Wednesday, June 21, at 2.30pm near shops on Front Street, on Friday, June 16 at 10.30am and also on Front Street on Wednesday, June 14 at 8.52pm. Prior to these reports there have been other similar incidents over the last 18 months.

Neighbourhood Inspector Vicky Quinn, said: "We are continuing to support the victim who is extremely distressed about these incidents, and have increased our patrols in the areas where these incidents have occurred. We have also carried out house to house enquiries and scrutinised local CCTV cameras in the area to help us find those involved. We are now also appealing for help from the community to identify the offenders so we can put a stop to this.

"No one should have to experience racial abuse, we don't tolerate hate crime or racist abuse in any form. We want to make sure the small minority who are involved in racist behaviour are dealt with robustly and we always encourage victims to come forward

"We take all reports of this nature incredibly seriously; it doesn't have to be a physical attack to report it to police, we will investigate whether it is a physical attack, words that are said or comments made to an individual in person or online. If a victim perceives they have been targeted because of their race or religion we want to know."

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number of 1229 of 22/06/17 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For further information about hate crime and the support available visit the Northumbria Police website