We have joined the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner in issuing a strong message condemning racism after a man was attacked in what officers believe was a racially aggravated incident.
Two white suspects attacked a black man who was walking along the footpath from Butely Road in Luton towards the M1 underpass at around 8.45am on Tuesday (13 July).
The victim was stabbed in the leg with a sharp instrument which has not been identified, and suffered minor injuries. The suspects shouted racist abuse at the victim during the attack.
The first offender is described as white, approximately 5’10”, around 30 and lean. He was wearing a black Puma tracksuit and a black peaked cap.
The second offender was also white, around 30, lean with short, dark hair with the sides shaved. He was wearing a black tracksuit.
In a statement the victim said: “This incident has left me with many sleepless nights. Whenever I’m alone I get flashbacks and I can’t stop thinking about it.
“I don’t want it to affect me and how I feel about my town. The way I was brought up was to help people if they needed it, and this has made me worried to do that.
“I was born and raised in Luton, and have lived here all my life. I’m doing my best to not let it change me and how I feel about where I live but it’s so difficult.”
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye, said: “My thoughts are with the local resident who has been a victim of this frightening and suspected racially motivated attack.
“There can be no place for racism or any hate crime in our county. Its impact on families and communities are far reaching which is why I would ask anyone who witnessed this horrendous attack, to please contact Bedfordshire Police or Crimestoppers.”
Sergeant Tony Bravo, from our hate crime team, said: “This was a frightening attack with what appears to be a racial motivation, and we are working to establish the circumstances and identify the men responsible.
“Across the country, we have seen racism against our black communities in particular following the Euro 2020 tournament.
“While we have not seen any spike in hate crimes here in Bedfordshire, and incidents of this nature and severity are extremely rare, we must all stand against racism and discrimination whenever it occurs.
“We are appealing to anyone who was in the area at the time and who may have information about this incident, or doorbell or dash cam footage.
“We will never tolerate hate crime in our communities and have a dedicated team to deal with these types of incidents, providing help and support to those affected.
“We need to come together as a community, especially in these unprecedented times, to make sure all of our community members feel safe.”
If you have any information please contact us via https://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/report/Report#ee565e32
Please quote reference 40/36386/21
Or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via https://crimestoppers-uk.org
If you have been affected by crime, Signpost offers free and confidential support to victims in Bedfordshire, whether it has been reported to police or not, and irrespective of where and when the crime occurred.
Contact 0800 0282887 for further information or visit https://www.signpostforbedfordshire.com