Five individuals have been taken into custody in connection to a vicious racially motivated attack on a 15-year-old Black girl. These suspects have been banned from the Surrey area as police search for another teenager who is believed to be involved with the attack.
Footage of the incident, which took place outside of Thomas Knyvett College in Ashford, Surrey, went viral online and showed the victim being punched, kicked and having her hair pulled while the attackers were being encouraged by adults at the scene.
Chief Inspector Dallas McDermott of Surrey Police described the situation as disturbing and expressed disappointment in the reaction of the individuals who were present and recorded the attack.
The four individuals who have been arrested are facing charges of attempted racially aggravated bodily harm, with one being a 39-year-old woman, one being a 16-year-old girl, and two being 11-year-old girls.
The woman and a 43-year-old man have also been arrested for child neglect and for intentionally encouraging the commission of a crime. The 16-year-old was also arrested for malicious communications.
Inspector McDermott is confident that his team will bring justice for the victim and are currently working to gather the necessary evidence to present to the Crown Prosecution Service. Although the suspects have been released on bail, they are subject to strict conditions, including being banned from entering Surrey.
“We want to bring these offenders to justice. We’re trying to get those vital bits of evidence that we need to see charges, and I can say I believe we’re not far away. So we’re confident as a police force and as a local police team that we will bring justice for the victims,” McDermott said, according to The Evening Standard.
MPs have called for an investigation into the response of the staff during the incident, and the school is currently conducting its own investigation into the matter. Inspector McDermott expressed disappointment in the reactions of the individuals who recorded the attack and stood by filming.
A peaceful protest was held outside the school, with around 120 individuals in attendance. Inspector McDermott understands the anger and frustration behind the protest and stated that individuals have the right to voice their opinions. Police will continue to engage with the school and the local area to bring those responsible to justice.
According to the Youth Justice Strategy statistics for 2022 and 2023, youth crime is actually on the decline in the UK. At the same time, the number of minors reoffending has dropped and remains well below previous averages. Additionally, the number of young individuals spending time in custody has also diminished, demonstrating that substantial progress is being made, but isolated incidents still occur.
Last week, CrimeWatch.UK reported that, five teenage girls were taken into custody by armed police following a disturbance outside a city residence. The individuals, ranging in age from 16 to 18, were detained on suspicion of committing criminal damage, assault, and affray, after they were found attacking a house with bricks and smashing the windows.