‘Muslim patrol’ investigation leads to double arrest
Homophobic attack filmed and uploaded to YouTube among a series of incidents by east London vigilante group
- guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 22 January 2013 23.54 GMT
Two men have been arrested after a series of incidents in London saw members of the public harassed by self-styled vigilantes who posted footage of their activities online. One included a clip showing a man being subjected to homophobic abuse.
The incidents are believed to be linked to a group claiming to be behind “Muslim patrols” of Whitechapel. In the latest video in which a group of men described themselves as “vigilantes implementing Islam upon your own necks”, a man is followed and told: “Get out of here you fag … Don’t stay around here any more.”
His pursuers tell him that he is “walking through a Muslim area dressed like a fag”.
The East London Mosque has condemned the actions. It said in a statement last week that individuals claiming to be ‘Muslim patrols’ have been harassing members of the public on the streets of east London late at night, including outside the mosque after it has closed, and that it had contacted the police to alert them to the presence of the individuals and video.
“These actions are utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord,” it said.
“We wholly condemn them. The East London Mosque is committed to building co-operation and harmony between all communities in this borough. The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith nor on our streets.
The gay rights group, Stonewall, said: “This incident is yet another reminder of the homophobic abuse that gay people face all too often. We urge victims of all homophobic crimes and incidents to report them to the police and for the police to take action to protect gay people from these disturbing crimes.”
The Metropolitan Police said that two men were arrested in connection with a series of incidents that took place over the course of 12-13 January in east London. Videos of the incidents were later uploaded onto YouTube.
A 22-year-old man was arrested in Acton on Sunday while a 19-year-old man voluntarily attended an east London police station on Monday.
A Met spokesperson said: “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.
“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.
Now we’ve all seen the “Muslim patrol” video and theres nobody being attacked on that but, not a million miles away on the DLR there was a vicious attack on a 17 year old by a Muslim gang. Linked?
British Transport Police (BTP) detectives are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a teenage boy was seriously assaulted on New Year’s Day at a Dockland Light Railway (DLR) station.
The incident took place at around 12.50am on Tuesday, 1 January, at Tower Gateway DLR station.
Detective Sergeant Fintan Egan, the investigating officer, said: “The victim, a 17-year-old from Essex, had been out celebrating in London with friends and was making his way home on his own.
“As he made his way up the stairs towards the platforms, unprovoked, a group of between five and six men chased after the victim and attacked him with a bottle and a sharp object.
“The victim suffered a cut to his head, cheek and hand and required stitches for his injuries.”
Officers are now releasing CCTV images of five men they would like to speak to in connection with the incident.
DS Egan said: “We’ve carried out a number of enquiries to try and establish the identity of this group, including speaking to witnesses and circulating images on police intelligence systems, but to no avail so far.
“If you recognise any of these men, or have any information that could help our investigation, please contact us.”
Anyone with information should contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 quoting B7 of 21/01/13. Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please find attached six images of the persons officers want to speak to in connection with this incident. BTP retains copyright of the attached images. They are to be used only in relation to this case/incident and must not be distributed, reproduced, or published in any form of media, electronic or otherwise other than for this purpose As publishers, it is your responsibility to check with the courts whether any restrictions have been imposed that may affect the reporting of legal proceedings. You are also reminded of your obligations under the Contempt of Court Act 1981. Under no circumstances will BTP accept liability if the images are distributed, reproduced or published in any form of media, electronic or otherwise, other than for the above purpose. Permission to reproduce this image is given for 1 month only from today’s date.
British Transport Police – London Underground & DLR Area
t:020 7267 6100
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