Following an anxious few days Lambeth Police have confirmed that they have arrested the male suspect that they were looking for in relation to the homophobic ‘ammonia’ attacks that took place in Vauxhall last Sunday morning (8th June).
“31 year old male arrested last night, 11 June 2014, at 2250 in relation to the attacks in Vauxhall. Currently being held at a South London Police Station. “
The horrific set of attacks sent shock waves through the local community and left a young man aged 23 fearing that he could lose his eyesight. He is still receiving on-going medical treatment.
Thousands of people supported the police appeal by sharing the appeal for the male suspect on-line. It is a real result that within a matter of days two of the female suspects handed themselves in, and now the final suspect has been apprehended.
Mark Healey, Lambeth’s Hate Crime Coordinator said;
“I’m really pleased that this suspect appeal has been concluded so quickly and that the police now have the suspect in custody. I’m sure that everyone feels relieved as we head into next weekend. The police especially the investigating team at Brixton Police Station Community Safety Unit have done an excellent job so far. It is good to see how everyone has come together to make sure that a clear message is put out that we won’t tolerate homophobic attacks in Vauxhall.”
A co-produced media statement from partners who include Safer Lambeth Borough Crime Reduction Partnership, Independent LGBT Advisory Group, Galop, Vauxhall Gay Business Fourm, Vauxhall One, LGBT venue managers and others stated:
“Lambeth has many diverse and vibrant communities and is a popular and safe destination for thousands of visitors every day from across London and further afield. Communities working with the police do not tolerate violence, hate crime or discrimination towards anyone and when there is, sadly, an isolated incident such as that which took place last Sunday, it will be dealt with robustly by the Police in partnership with the wider community. We would encourage anyone who has been a victim or is in fear of crime to contact the Police via 101 or to speak to Victim Support or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Lambeth is no place for hate and a safe place for all.”
Richard Wood, Lambeth Police Borough Commander said,
“Lambeth Police understand that although unusual the assaults in Vauxhall may leave some communities in particular the LGBT community anxious and concerned however we will continue to work together with our partners to protect and serve this community. The Metropolitan Police Service will take a robust approach to those who commit crimes motivated by any form of hate or discrimination”.
Whilst this concludes the suspect appeal the police are still appealing for any witnesses to come forward to help collaborate exactly what happened last Sunday.
Once the investigation is closed the case will then be submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service who will decide how to proceed.
Lambeth Hate Crime Coordinator Mark Healey added;
“I want everyone to know that in Lambeth we take disability, faith, gender identity (Transphobic), race and sexual orientation (Biphobic and Homophobic) hate crimes very seriously. A recent Stonewall survey found that only 1 in 6 people bother to report the hate crime incidents that they experience – we want to get to the point that every hate crime incident (however trivial that incident may seem) is reported so that we can ensure that appropriate resources are allocated to eliminate all forms of hate crime in Lambeth”
Lambeth Council, Lambeth Hate Crime Coordinator, Vauxhall One and the local LGBT community will be working in partnership over the next few months to drive forward a hate crime reporting campaign to encourage everyone to come forward and report the incidents that they are experiencing.
Follow @Lambethhcc on twitter for further updates!