Witness appeal following hate crime in Poole

Officers investigating a hate crime in Poole are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward.

At around 1pm on Tuesday 4 December 2018 the victim, a woman aged in her 30s who uses crutches to aid her mobility, was sitting on a bench behind the bus stop outside Forum Jewellers and Arrowedge Ltd on Lower Blandford Road in Broadstone.

A man approached her and began shouting and swearing at her, making reference to her use of crutches, before sitting down next to her. His derogatory comments and general behaviour caused the victim to feel shaken and scared and members of the public came to intervene.

The man got up and went to get on a bus.

He is described as white, aged in his 60s, short in height and with white hair. He was wearing a green waterproof coat with a hood and used a walking stick.

Police Constable Alexandra Kimmins, of Poole police, said: “This was a very distressing incident for the victim, who was targeted due to her disability.

“Dorset Police takes hate crime very seriously and we are carrying out a full investigation to identify the man responsible.

“I am appealing for any witnesses or anyone with information about the incident to come forward. I am particularly keen to speak to a woman with a pushchair who came to the aid of the victim but left without her details being obtained.

“I am also releasing CCTV image of the suspect. I appreciate it is not the best quality and his face cannot be seen but it may assist in identifying him or with someone’s recollection of the incident.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55180195687. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.