Two 11-year-old girls among five arrested after ‘racially aggravated’ attack on schoolgirls near Surrey college
Two 11-year-old girls are among five people arrested after two schoolgirls were subjected to a “racially aggravated” attack outside a college in Surrey on Monday.
Shocking footage circulating on social media captured part of the attack, which saw the two 15-year-olds set upon outside Thomas Knyvett College in Ashford, about 2.30pm.
One victim has since received hospital treatment for her injuries.
Surrey Police said on Wednesday afternoon they are treating the incident as “racially aggravated”.
Footage shows one of the victims, who is black, being repeatedly punched and kicked in the head while her hair is also pulled, and an adult can be heard shouting “kick her in the face”.
One of the girl’s braids appears to fall out during the attack, while a motorist driving past the scene can be heard blaring their horn.
Surrey Police said, on Wednesday, that four people have been arrested on suspicion of attemoted racially aggravated GBH - a 39-year-old woman, a 16-year-old girl, and two 11-year-old girls.
— Thomas Knyvett (@ThomasKnyvett) February 8, 2023
The 39-year-old and a 43-year-old man have also been 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.
Officers are also keen to arrest a sixth suspect, a 15-year-old girl, who has so far evaded police.
“She knows she is wanted in connection with this incident, and we encourage her to hand herself in to her nearest police station,” said the force.
Following the incident, a letter was sent out to parents by Thomas Knyvett College Principal Richard Beeson.
In it he said: “You may be aware that one of our students was injured in a violent altercation outside of school yesterday as they were making their way home.
“We would like to reassure you that the police were called and are currently investigating. We are supporting the police as they investigate this matter.
"Enough is enough," the people say. Here @ Thomas Knyvett College protest in Ashford, following the brutal attack on a Black schoolgirl by a gang of white people. Hundreds were in attendance to show solidarity. pic.twitter.com/EuaFvjE3vp
— Nadine White. (@Nadine_Writes) February 8, 2023
“We are aware that this incident will have caused concern among students and parents/carers. We can reassure you that we are taking all necessary steps to ensure this isolated incident is dealt with and that student safety is our paramount concern.”
On Wednesday protesters gathered outside the college to vent their anger in the wake of the attack.
Surrey Police said it was aware of videos of the “distressing” incident, and urged people not to share them but to instead send them in to the police.
It stressed that sharing the footage could risk prejudicing any future court hearing or trial.
Inspector Maxine Cilia, Borough Commander for Spelthorne, 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 school child 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.”
Any images of video of the incident can be uploaded to Surrey Police’s evidence portal here. Anyone who was in the Salcombe Road area between 2pm and 3pm on Monday, or who has information about the incident, is asked to contact the police quoting PR/45230014226, either through the Surrey Police website, online chat, or by calling 101.
If you do not wish to speak to police, you can call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.