Police reports of men abusing and spitting at Jewish passengers on Oxford Street bus

The police have published images of three men they want to question after a video went viral showing the men at a bus stop in Oxford Street racially abusing Jewish passengers. 

The video was released last week and shows the men spitting, shouting and swearing at the teenage passengers on a privately hired bus, where more shouting can be heard from inside. 

The passengers had hired the bus to celebrate the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. The video shows them stepping off the bus to sing and dance before being approached by the three men. One of the men can be heard shouting “F*** Israel, f*** you” as the passengers retreated back into the bus. 

One of the men in the video can be seen chasing after the bus and hitting it as it drives away as a woman from inside the bus says: “They deserve to be run over.” 

Deputy inspector Kevin Eade said: “This was a deeply upsetting incident for a community group who were celebrating the Jewish festival, Hanukkah.” 

Eade confirmed that the incident is now being treated as a hate crime. He said: “There is no place in our city for hate crime. Everyone should be able to enjoy their lives without harassment.”

The police have now published the images of the three men in the hope of identifying them. Eade said: “I urge anyone who can name the individuals pictured to contact police without delay.” 

Politicians react

Prime minister Boris Johnson called the video “disturbing”. He said: “Racism of any kind will never be tolerated in our society and we will continue to do all we can to root it out.”

Marie van der Zyl, the president of the board of deputies of British Jews, said: “We are appalled by the horrifying footage of Jewish people targeted on Oxford Street. We note that besides attempts to spit at them, at least one of the perpetrators appears to be performing a Nazi salute.

“We hope police will swiftly identify and arrest those involved in this disgusting incident.”

Leader of Westminster City Council, Cllr Rachael Robathan, called the footage a “disgraceful anti-Semitic incident” in a tweet.


Kingston residents react

Some residents in Kingston have also seen or have themselves suffered similar abuse in recent weeks.

Amélie Le Huray, a Kingston University student, has seen racial abuse in Kingston Upon Thames towards one of the international students.

She said: “I believe she was an international student and she seemed a bit confused about where to get on the bus and the bus driver was verbally abusive towards her.

“I was mostly in shock at what he’d said to her and the female member of staff next to me said “Oh that shouldn’t happen. That should be reported.”

A Kingston resident from India who did not want to be named said he had also seen and experienced similar racial abuse in Kingston. He said: “I’m (fairly) fluent in English, but one of my friends is from Gujarat in India […] He is not as well adjusted and struggles to speak (English) properly.

“We were in Eden street waiting for a bus. There were two or three teenagers and a couple waiting for the bus. The teenagers said something which he could not understand and they used abusive language towards him.

“Until now my friend was shattered and is still afraid to come out and talk to people.”

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