Cricklewood mosque crash: Car 'drove into pedestrians' outside north London Muslim centre, causing multiple injuries

Hit-and-run collision not being treated as terrorism, Met says

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 19 September 2018 08:47 BST
Car hits pedestrians outside London mosque

Two people have been taken to hospital after a car crashed into pedestrians outside a mosque in north London.

Police are investigating after the driver failed to stop at the site of the crash in Oxgate Lane, Cricklewood, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

It is not being treated as terrorism, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said, and no one has yet been arrested. However, “the hate crime aspect of the collision is being looked at by detectives as an aggravating factor”, the force said.

Miqdaad Versi, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, claimed eyewitnesses had reported hearing “anti-Islamic” slogans shouted during the incident outside the Hussaini Association community centre.

The Met spokesman said: ”Police were called at 12.35am on Wednesday 19 September to reports of a car in collision with a number of pedestrians in Oxgate Lane in Brent.

“Local borough officers and the ambulance service attended. Two people have been taken to hospital for treatment; injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

“The driver failed to stop. Enquiries are underway to find out who he or she was.

“Officers are currently keeping an open mind as to the cause of the collision and the incident is not being treated as terrorist-related.”

Detectives said that about 12.20am security guards at the centre learned that people in a car outside were drinking, behaving anti-socially and potentially using drugs. The group of three men and a woman, thought to be in their mid-twenties, were asked to leave.

The Met said in a statement: “The car then drove near the centre and the occupants were involved in a confrontation with a large group of people visiting the centre.

“Words were exchanged and comments of an Islamophobic nature were allegedly made by the group in the car.”

The car was damaged by people outside the centre, police said, before it sped away and hit three people.

Those injured were two men in their twenties, who were not seriously hurt, and a man in his fifties who remains in hospital undergoing treatment for a leg wound.

In a statement posted on social media, the Hussaini Association claimed the crash was ”a suspected premeditated Islamphobic attack”.

It said a red Nissan Juke “swerved into innocent bystanders, hitting at least 5 people of which 3 were seriously injured”.

“They were heard shouting anti Islamic taunts at the crowd before they started their attack. Fortunately, a number of volunteers bravely stood between the speeding vehicle and patrons heading home.”

Anyone with information about the crash should call Brent CID on 07747 476 151 or 101 quoting reference CAD 150/29 Sept, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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