Six arrested after racist attack on teenager in Shrublands

A teenager lies in a hospital bed this morning in a “serious but stable” condition, after being battered in a vicious attack by a racist mob, an attack which had terrible overtones of the kind of brutal assault which saw Stephen Lawrence killed on the streets of south London 24 years ago.

The police cordoned off a large section around Shrublands yesterday as they began investigations into the racist attack

Friday night’s attack, which took place near The Goat pub in Shrublands, began – as with Stephen Lawrence in 1993 – near a bus stop as the victim, a 17-year-old, a Kurdish Iranian, was simply waiting to travel home.

Much of the incident was captured on CCTV near the Shrublands estate, and has resulted in the police quickly making six arrests on suspicion of attempted murder and violent disorder. Scotland Yard said that those arrested are all from Croydon: three men, aged 20; a 24-year-old woman, a 24-year-old man, and a 20-year-old woman.

Eye witnesses have told Inside Croydon that the attackers they saw were all white. It was suggested that the mob may have been made up of as many as eight people.

Detectives continue to appeal for information and witnesses to the attack, which is being treated as a suspected hate crime.

Yesterday, local politicians spouted the usual platitudes about being proud of Croydon’s diversity. MP for the area, Gavin Barwell, called the attackers “scum”. There will be a vigil today at 2pm in the town centre, organised by the campaign group Stand Up To Racism.

Though whether any of that can reverse the institutionalised intolerance and ignorance which exists just below the surface in post-Brexit Britain, where migrants have been made scapegoats for the economic failures of politicians and big business, has to be open to doubt.

The teenager had been waiting at a bus stop in Laurel Crescent with two friends around 11.40pm on Friday when approached by a group of people.

Police say he was asked where he was from, and when he told them he was an asylum seeker, they chased and attacked him.

The teenager is reported to have sustained serious injuries to his head consistent with being punched and kicked repeatedly. Only the intervention from others saw the assault ended and help called from the emergency services to the scene on Shrublands Avenue.

DS Kris Blamires from Croydon CID said: “A number of people came to the aid of the victim as he lay unconscious and injured following the assault.

“The suspects are believed to have made off in the direction of The Goat pub, Broom Road, following the attack.

“I would encourage all those who came to his aid and those in the immediate area who witnessed the attack or saw the males leave the scene to get in touch.

“All communities stand together against hate and we would ask anyone with any information to come forward immediately.”

There remains deep concerns about the impact that the notoriety of such an attack might do for the area. On Town Hall source said, “This is very bad for the town. It’ll bring back all the negativity about Croydon that followed the riots in 2011.”

One community figure in Shirley, living near where the attack took place, said that there are a number of refugees living on the Shrublands estate, but that they were not aware that there had been any problems previously. “I am shocked,” they said. The attackers, they said, “must be outsiders trying to stir trouble. I feel safe in the estate”.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call Croydon CID during office hours on 020 3276 2234 or via 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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10 Responses to Six arrested after racist attack on teenager in Shrublands

  1. farmersboy says:

    There’s been some confusion about the vigil but Stand up to Racism have confirmed this morning that the vigil will be outside Debenhams entrance to Centrale shopping centre

  2. Another awful demonstration of the vile Pandora’s Box opened by the likes of Messers Farage, Vine, Johnson, Gove, Trump et al. Somehow, anyone who has a grievance seems to feel empowered by their victories, and entitled to act directly.

    • shyn43 says:

      Messers Farage, Vine, Johnson, Gove, Trump et al
      cannot be blamed for the actions of people who chose to attack a person waiting at a bus stop!
      Do I need to remind you about the west Indian immigrants in notting hill in 1958 who were attacked by teddy boys?
      Where were Messers Farage, Vine, Johnson, Gove, Trump et al then?
      Just because a few politicians are openly opposed to immigration from the European union
      that does not mean they inspired the actions of the people who attacked a asylum seeking teenager waiting at a bus stop in croydon.
      Violence is born from a bad heart not immigration.

  3. Lewis White says:

    I partly agree with Arno, as the evidence seems to be that pathetic cowards responsible for race hate crime feel empowered somehow to take out their anger on people like this young man, when society as a whole is evidencing an institutional shift from open minded to limited-minded.

    Could it be that the mindset that has resulted in Brexit could be an aspect of that old British disdain for “damn foreigners”?. Anyone over 50 will probably remember this unpleasant phrase.

    Violence towards inoffensive foreigners is an extreme version of this, in my view.

    How can one change this type of attitude? It surely must boil down to attitudes and morality learned as children, and confirmed as adults. There are two paths –the right and the wrong. Anyone who perpetrates an act of violence makes a decision. Some go with the crowd or act as part of a crowd, whether a small group or big crowd. Yes, that’s what cowards tend to do.

    Let’s hope that whoever attacked this young man are apprehended, then subjected to the process of the Law, then reflect on their actions and realise that violence is wrong, and harms them and their futures too, and are sorry, and amend their future life paths.

    I live in Hope.

  4. Very regrettable though this incident is, what is sadly lacking is any concern for the feelings of the native British in relation to the mass immigration which they have seen transforming their land, without ever being asked by any politician if that is what they wanted. Immigration has been imposed on the British by totally unrepresentative politicians.

    In such a situation, sadly, it is a fact of life that there are always likely to be elements who are going to turn violent when opportunity arises and they are in the mood.

    What is more or less a certainty is that such incidents are going to escalate as immigration continues.

    • Ahh, so your ignorance and bigotry is an excuse for mob violence? What a wretched reflection of Brexit Britain.

      And what the fuck is “native British”? Are you trying to claim that your DNA can be traced all the way back to the ancient Britons, who inhabited part of these islands before the Roman invasion? Or do you mean you think you’re Anglo-Saxon? Perhaps you’re a bit of a Viking? Or maybe you have a proud Norman heritage?

      This country has been built on the backs of immigrants over thousands of years.

      But if you get your nasty and pernicious way, it might be “very regrettable”, as you put it so insincerely, if you were to become ill but there’s no nursing staff or doctors to care for you, because we are no longer allowing highly trained immigrants to come to this country, work, pay taxes and contribute to society.

  5. I grew up around very violent racists in Liverpool, UK. Having lived in several countries and cities I would say Liverpool is the most racist place on earth. Times have changed since the 1980s as now people are aware it is an offence to “hate” but unfortunately you cannot bring out laws on what people are thinking and in reality people will always have it on their mind. When someone gets angry the first thing they do is find something (negative to them) about the appearance of the person they are angry with, be it overweight, black, ginger hair, trans, etc etc and they will then abuse that person on the way they look. I have witnessed highly educated people being very racist- one a solicitor. So it is definitely not a case of lack of education. I have posted some videos of liverpool on my page but be warned they are not for the faint hearted…..

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