Gang hunted for suspected race attack
By Rebecca SheppardTHREE men were being hunted last night for a suspected racial attack that left their victim in hospital with a broken ankle.Suffolk county councillor Joanna Spicer said she was “absolutely horrified” by the assault in Ipswich and called for urgent action to catch the perpetrators.
By Rebecca Sheppard
THREE men were being hunted last night for a suspected racial attack that left their victim in hospital with a broken ankle.
Suffolk county councillor Joanna Spicer said she was “absolutely horrified” by the assault in Ipswich and called for urgent action to catch the perpetrators.
Three white men approached the victim at about 12.30am yesterday as he was walking home along Eagle Street, in the town centre.
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An insult was shouted at the 34-year-old, who is from Ipswich, and he was then pushed to the ground and kicked, which caused his ankle to break.
His attackers fled and the man managed to return home, before going to Ipswich Hospital, where police were called.
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Suffolk police said they were treating the assault as racially motivated, but could not release details of the victim's ethnicity.
A police spokesman said: “Police will be speaking to the victim again to try to gain more details of the incident, but at this stage it is being treated as racially motivated.”
The attackers were described as white. One had spiky hair and another was wearing a baseball hat.
Mrs Spicer, portfolio holder for public protection at Suffolk County Council, said she was “absolutely horrified” by the attack.
“I am very, very shocked and hope there will be very urgent efforts to identify the perpetrators and they should be brought to justice as a matter of high urgency,” she said.
Harold Mangar, vice-president of Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, said he too was shocked at the incident.
He warned tensions had been “heightened” since the London terrorist bombings and there had been more incidents of people being abused since then.
“I can't say I'm surprised that it happened. There have been one or two incidents of people being racially abused, but not many where actual physical violence takes place,” said Mr Mangar.
“Certainly in the next few months there could be an increase in these, but we have to hope they won't escalate.”
The attack came as new figures released showed there had been little change in the number of incidents reported to Suffolk County Council's racial harassment line since the London bombings, despite widespread fears of communities being targeted.
During July there were 40 incidents - just three more than in June and three less than last July. In total there were 456 racial incidents reported to the hotline in the year from July 2004.
The reports came from all over the county, with most in Ipswich and Lowestoft, and they ranged from abuse to assault, criminal damage to harassment.
Mrs Spicer said: “In Suffolk, every reported case of racial harassment is taken very seriously and investigated thoroughly.
“Fortunately, the number of such cases are relatively small compared to other parts of the country - but even one case is too many.
“We are determined that everyone who comes to Suffolk is made to feel welcome and a valued part of the county.”