Four teenagers arrested after video shows racial abuse of schoolboy in Carlisle | UK news

Four teenage boys have been arrested in connection with racial abuse of a black schoolboy that was filmed and shared on social media.

Cumbria police said the images circulating online were abhorrent and that the incident in the Upperby area of Carlisle was being treated as a hate crime.

The video shows the schoolboy being taunted, pushed and punched by a white boy before being made to kiss his shoes.

The incident took place on Friday. After the video was shared thousands of times Cumbria police said they had arrested a teenage boy “in relation to a report of a hate incident”.

On Saturday afternoon the force said three more boys had been arrested.

In a statement Cumbria police said: “Officers responded last night [Friday] following a report of a racially aggravated hate incident and concerns in the community after images were circulated online.

“Those arrested are four boys in their early teens, all from Carlisle. One was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated actual bodily harm. The other three were arrested on suspicion of abetting racially aggravated actual bodily harm.”

Because arrests had been made, police asked people to refrain from sharing the video further.

Supt Sarah Jones said: “These are abhorrent images circulating online that have caused shock and concern in both the community and among officers here at Cumbria police.

“We understand an incident such as this can be concerning for many but we can reassure the community this is an incident we are taking very seriously – and we have made four arrests.

“Our officers have worked through the night and continue to carry out investigations today.

“As arrests have been made, we would continue to urge people not to share the video further so as not to impede any potential legal proceedings or to identify any of the children involved.”

Cumbria police said it was increasing patrols in the city “in response to concerns from the community”.

The campaign group Anti Racist Cumbria (ARC) said it was aware that the video of “a violent racist hate crime” was circulating but said sharing it could be counterproductive.

“Some spaces are sharing this video without content warning and with no consent,” it said in an Instagram post. “We will NOT be sharing the video.

“Anti Racist Cumbria are deeply saddened and outraged by the disgusting act of racism and violence against a Black local schoolboy in our community.

“Our first message is to the boy and his family to send them the collective love and care that so many feel for them. We have reached out via Cumbria constabulary to offer our support for the child and his family. We have heard from parents of Black and Brown pupils in the school who are understandably concerned.

“Every child has the right to feel safe and respected, and should be free from the fear of discrimination or harassment and violence based on the colour of their skin, ethnicity, or any other characteristic … We are clear when we say that this is not an isolated incident and that something like this does not happen in a vacuum.

“It highlights the urgent need for comprehensive anti-racism education and initiatives to address and ultimately pull out the root causes of racism and we call upon educators, parents, and community leaders to actively prioritise anti-racism work within our schools, our communities and everywhere else.”

John Stevenson, the Conservative MP for Carlisle, said: “Racial hatred and abuse has no place in Carlisle. Carlisle police have taken action and I am in full support of this. I intend to follow this up with them.”

Police said anyone with information was asked to contact officers on 101.

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