Three teenagers are in custody after a pub-goer chased down a gang who allegedly tried to burn a Union Jack flag in Twickenham while shouting ‘Free Palestine‘ and ‘Allahu Akbar.’
A 17-year-old and two 18-year-olds were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage and inciting racial hatred after trying to set fire to a flag stolen from outside a pub.
It is understood two flags were ripped from outside the Fox pub, but no other businesses on the southwest London high street were targeted.
A bartender from a nearby pub told the Daily Telegraph that a drinker had chased the gang down the street and tackled one before the arrests were made.
The man had called the police when he saw the teenagers trying to burn the flag, he added.
It is understood two flags were ripped from outside the Fox pub (pictured, stock image), but no other businesses on the southwest London high street were targeted
‘It was one of our regulars that was in the middle of it,’ he said.
‘He caught one of the guys.’
Pubs and restaurants in Twickenham, the home of English rugby, have a proud tradition of flying Union flags and those of England’s international rugby opponents.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘At 6.09pm on Monday, October 23, police were called to Church Street, Twickenham, following reports of a group trying to remove and set fire to Union flags.
‘Three men were arrested at the scene on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage and inciting racial hatred.’
Richmond Council leader Gareth Roberts thanked police for taking swift action.
‘Hate has no place in our society,’ he said.
‘I’d also like to urge people to report hate crime when they witness it. Silence hides hate, so no matter how small or trivial you think an incident might be, it is important it is acknowledged and reported.
‘Reporting also means that you will get access to support and advice to help you feel safe again.’
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