Two Arrests in Bowker Vale Metrolink Case

10 Sep 2015 by CST

CST thanks Greater Manchester Police for its prompt action concerning a particularly serious and worrying incident in heart of north Manchester's Jewish community (see here). There is far too much antisemitic abuse and violence and we hope these arrests will send a strong message, providing some reassurance to the Jewish community. GMP media release is as follows:

Detectives investigating an anti-Semitic assault in Bury have this morning, Thursday 10 September 2015, arrested two teenage boys.

The two 17-year-old boys have been arrested at addresses in Whitefield and Derbyshire on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and violent disorder. They have been taken into custody and will be interviewed by detectives later today.

The attack happened at around 11.30pm on Saturday 5 September 2015 at Bowker Vale Metrolink stop in the Prestwich area of Bury.

Three offenders approached a group of one boy and three men who were waiting for a tram and verbally and physically assaulted them. A 17-year-old boy suffered a serious head injury and remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital. Two 18-year-old men were taken to hospital for treatment to minor injuries, but have since been discharged.

Police are treating the assault as an anti-Semitic hate crime and are still appealing for potential witnesses to come forward to assist their enquiries.

Detective Inspector Liam Boden of GMP's North Manchester Division said "We have had a team of officers working closely with our partners to recover and examine evidence since the offence took place, which has revealed a sustained and unprovoked attack on the victims who were waiting for a tram on the opposite platform.“

Detectives investigating this case will be interviewing two suspects later today, but we are still appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

“There are two distinct scenes, as we believe the victims were chased from the platform to Middleton Road and that is where the most serious assault took place. We would therefore like to ask anyone who may have been travelling along Middleton Road at around 11.25pm on Saturday, or anyone who believes they may have witnessed the attack, to come forward.“

"Similarly, we believe the offenders then alighted the Metrolink towards Bury at around 11.35pm, travelling between Bowker Vale and Radcliffe. We know there were people on this tram and that they would have noticed these offenders travelling between carriages, as it would have been obvious that at least one of them had been involved in an assault.“

"I know this crime has caused upset and anxiety in the Jewish community, particularly as this has happened just prior to the start of the Jewish High Holy Days, and I want to offer reassurance that hate crime will not be tolerated and we will do everything we can to stop it. For the past few weeks, we have been working closely with the community and Community Security Trust to put in place extra measures in the lead up to the High Holy Days period, with plans already in place to step up patrols in the area and increase security over the coming weeks.”

Amanda Bomsztyk, Northern Regional Director of the Community Security Trust (CST) said: “We would like to thank Greater Manchester Police for its prompt action in this particularly serious and worrying incident. There is far too much antisemitic abuse and violence, and we hope these arrests will send a strong message, providing some reassurance to the Jewish community.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. You can also report via the dedicated hate crime reporting website http://www.report-it.org.uk.


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Senior Rabbi, Reform Judaism