Harlow murder: Police concern at 'hate crime' label

Arkadiusz Jozwik Image copyright
Image caption Arkadiusz Jozwik died two days after being attacked

A senior police officer says he is concerned at media reports that a murder was a "hate crime" before a motive for the fatal attack has been established.

Arkadiusz Jozwik, 39, suffered head injuries in an unprovoked attack in Harlow, on Saturday night. He died on Monday evening.

Six teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of killing Mr Jozwik.

On Wednesday night a vigil was held in the town.

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Det Ch Insp Martin Pasmore, of Essex Police, said: "It's concerning that the widespread media are reporting this as a hate crime, when in fact that is no more than one line of inquiry in a number of inquiries, which we are delving into to try and establish the truth, to establish that sequence of events that led to Mr Jozwik's tragic death."

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption The family said Mr Jozwik loved spending time with his relatives

Poland's deputy prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki expressed his sorrow at the death as he visited the UK.

Image copyright BBC/Chris Flynn
Image caption A vigil was was held in the town on Wednesday night

"This was a very sad day, and sad event," he said. "I know one line of the investigation by the police was that it might have been a hate crime, it remains to be seen what were the reasons.

"I hope it will never happen again, but yes, this will pose a question mark in many families, Polish families, in Great Britain."

The family of Mr Jozwik say they are "extremely devastated".

Mr Jozwik was assaulted at about 23:35 BST on Saturday outside the TGF Pizza and Mr Luigi's takeaway shops in The Stow.

His friend, a 43-year-old man, suffered hand and stomach injuries. He has since been discharged from hospital.

Five 15-year-old boys and one 16-year-old boy, all from Harlow, were arrested on suspicion of murder. All but one 15-year-old have been bailed.

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