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Five arrested after Ashford schoolgirl hurt in racial attack

Five arrested after Ashford schoolgirl hurt in racial attack

By Winnie Agbonlahor

BBC News

Five people have been arrested after a teenage girl was injured in what police have described as a “serious racially aggravated assault” outside a school.

A 16-year-old girl, two girls aged 11, a 39-year-old woman and a 43-year-old man have been arrested.

A sixth suspect, a 15-year-old girl, is being urged to hand herself in.

Surrey Police were called to reports of a fight between a group of girls on the junction of Salcombe Road and Stanwell Road in Ashford at 14:30 GMT on Monday.

Officers earlier described the incident outside Thomas Knyvett College as “distressing” and asked people not to share videos of it on social media.

Insp Maxine Cilia said: “I was shocked to see some of the video footage of this fight and the level of violence from young people outside one of our local schools.

“Every schoolchild should feel safe in the local community and not the target of any kind of violence as they leave school premises.

“Surrey Police are now investigating this incident and gathering further evidence with the full co-operation of the school.

“There will be extra patrols in this local area for reassurance and to enable local people to speak with officers.”

Police said it was a “serious racially aggravated assault”.

The 39-year-old, the 16-year-old and the two 11-year-olds were arrested on suspicion of attempted racially aggravated grievous bodily harm (GBH).

The 43-year-old man and the 39-year-old woman were also arrested on suspicion of child neglect and intentionally encouraging and assisting the commission of an indictable only offence.

The 16-year-old girl was also arrested on suspicion of malicious communications.

In a statement shared on Twitter, the school’s head teacher, Richard Beeson, said: “We can assure you that we are taking all necessary steps to ensure this isolated incident is dealt with and that student safety is our paramount concern.”

Anyone who saw what happened, or who has footage, is asked to contact police.

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