Northern Ireland

Stone-throwing youths abuse Romanian

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Media captionStone-throwing youths abuse Romanian woman

Police in Antrim are investigating a video in which three male youths appear to throw a stone at a young Romanian woman and verbally abuse her.

In a video posted on Facebook, the woman is approached by the youths, one of whom seems to throw a stone at her.

When she asks why the men do not respect girls, they reply: "You are not a girl... You're an immigrant and you shouldn't be in this country."

The woman said she had been scared at the time, but would not move away.

Boys identified

She told the BBC she had lived in Antrim for three months and had been on her way to collect her son when the incident happened.

"I feel OK, it's OK now," she said.

"I'm here, my son is at school, my husband's working. I like it here, because my family's here."

Police said they had identified the three boys involved.

In a statement, Ch Insp Arthur Davidson said: "Arrangements will be made to speak to them formally over the next few days.

"We are also working to identify the victim in order to ensure she is offered every support as we move forward with our investigation."

In the video, having told the woman she should not be in Northern Ireland, one boy asks if she has a passport, to which she replies: "Yes".

He then asks to see it, but she says she does not have her bag with her.

One of the youths then asks the woman if she speaks English, to which she answers: "Yes".

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption In a video posted on Facebook, the woman is approached by a group of youths, one of whom throws what appears to be a stone at her

He then asks her where she is from, and she says: "Romania."

He responds: "We don't like Romanians."

The lady then walks off and one of the young men continues to follow her, before the video clip ends.

Police have not given any more information about when and where the incident happened, but say enquiries are ongoing.

'Not acceptable in our society'

Patrick Yu, director of the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, said: "This behaviour is not acceptable in our society and it is particularly worrying due to the timing of this incident and the ongoing Brexit debate at the Conservative Party Conference."

Joanna Flett, manager of the Migrant Centre NI said: "Verbal abuse incidents are the most underreported because victims often do not believe anything can or will be done.

"It is important to take notice of these incidents and create an environment where victims or witnesses are confident to report them."

Alliance councillor Neil Kelly said he was horrified by the video.

"This is not reflective of the vast majority of people in Antrim, who are welcoming and friendly to all," he said.

"I have been inundated with people voicing their concern in relation to it and wishing to express their best wishes to the victim.

"I hope she is OK after this incident and does not judge everybody in this town by the disgraceful actions of a few."