Nine-year-old boy racially abused by teenagers in Stevenage play park
- Credit: Archant
Police are investigating after teenagers allegedly shouted racial abuse at a nine-year-old boy in Stevenage.
At around 1pm on Wednesday, July 12, the boy was in the playground in Featherston Road when a group of four teenagers hurled racist abuse at him from where they were stood outside the playground area.
The youths were around 16 years old. The first had short light brown hair and was wearing a black puffa jacket. The second was medium build and had short dark hair and was wearing a black short-sleeved hoody.
The third was wearing a blue hoody and a grey rucksack and the fourth was wearing a black tracksuit with a white stripe on the leg and arm and a hood.
Herts police hate crime officer Angela Westwood said: “Reports of hate crimes and hate incidents are taken very seriously by the constabulary. This incident caused distress to the boy and others who were in the area at the time. I would like to identify the boys responsible for this incident as they need to understand that it is not acceptable to use this kind of language.”
Herts police has issued a statement saying hate crime is any crime that is targeted against someone because of their race, disability, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.
A hate incident is an incident where someone is targeted in the same way but where a crime has not occurred – or cannot be proven.
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While a crime may not have occurred, the incident can still be distressing for the person targeted, so incidents are investigated by the constabulary’s specialist hate crime officers.
They also offer support to those who have been targeted.
Early interventions such as this can stop incidents or behaviour escalating or crimes being committed.
Anyone with information should contact PC Westwood via the non-emergency number 101.
Hate crimes and incidents can be reported online at report-it.org.uk.