The police are appealing for witnesses after a woman wearing a pink headscarf was punched in the head and kicked off a bus backwards in Elephant and Castle in what officers described as a “racist and Islamophobic” attack.
Two women are now sought by the police after the shocking assault on the number 63 bus on Wednesday night last week as it pulled up to the underground station stop in London Road just after 8pm.
Shocked commuters who witnessed the victim, in her forties, fall off the back of the bus, tried to hold the assailants at the scene until the police arrived but they both escaped.
The suspects were heard shouting racist and Islamophobic abuse at the victim before and after the attack, like “This isn’t bloody Africa.”
Bus passenger Antonia Bance, who called an ambulance for the victim, said her fellow “weary commuters” turned into a “crack team” after the attack as they took photos of the suspects, called the police and comforted the victim.
The victim sustained injuries as a result of the attack and was also badly shaken. She was taken to a central London hospital for treatment and has since been discharged.
In the last twelve months there were nearly 500 reported hate crimes in the borough for race or religious reasons, compared to 341 the year before that. Similar numbers of hate crimes were reported in Lewisham over the same period and around 150 more were reported in Lambeth.
Both suspects in this assault are described as black females aged in their twenties and police are appealing for any witnesses to now come forward.
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101 quoting reference 3031350/15 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111.