Police have made three arrests after a group of teenagers allegedly launched a tirade of “disgusting” racist abuse at a passenger on a tram in Manchester, amid reports of a spike in hate crime following the EU referendum.
A video captured the verbal attack on Tuesday morning, after the man had asked them to stop swearing.
“Bro, I’ll waste you, I’ll waste anyone,” one of the teenagers was filmed saying, brandishing what appeared to be a bottle of beer.
“Don't chat s**t when you're not even from England, you little f**king immigrant. Get off the f**king tram now. Get back to Africa.”
The victim, speaking with a North American or Canadian accent, remained calm as he asked the suspects how old they were.
“What are you 18, 19? I’ve been here longer than you have,” he said. “You are extremely ignorant and not very intelligent, you know that?”
The boys threatened to “waste” him before walking up the carriage and throwing a bottle of beer over the victim, splashing other passengers including a woman with a baby.
Eventually they got off the tram at Market Street as other passengers shouted at them to stop, with many calling them “disgusting”.
The victim was heard saying to himself ”seven years in the military“ as a commuter shouted to the retreating teenagers: ”You are an absolute disgrace. A disgrace to England.“
Afterwards he was given a round of applause on the tram and congratulated for standing his ground.
A woman who was on the tram told the Manchester Evening News she was left in tears by the incident.
“I was feeling sad, I now feel scared coming to work. They were three boys, they weren’t very old,” she said.
“I am scared of travelling on my own, I feel scared for my children that it is not safe, I will not take them on the tram.”
Greater Manchester Police said officers were investigating the “hate incident” at around 7.40am on Tuesday morning on a tram travelling towards the city centre.
Chief Inspector Gareth Parkin said: “This is a disgusting display of abuse which quite frankly has no place in society.
“All hate incidents are treated with the upmost severity and this behaviour will not be tolerated in Greater Manchester.
Jonathan Reynolds, the Labour MP for Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Longdendale and Dukinfield was among those voicing his disgust on Twitter.
“I will fight, fight and fight again against this racism with everything I have,” he said.
Paula Sherriff, the Labour MP for Dewsbury, Mirfield, Denby Dale and Kirkburton said she had written a letter signed by other MPs in the region condemning incidents of racism and xenophobia.
“I am horrified at the rise in racist incidents across the UK,” she added.
The National Police Chiefs' Council reported a 57 per cent rise in hate crime complaints over the four days following the EU referendum compared to the same period in May.
Police are investigating vandalism at a Polish cultural centre in west London and the firebombing of a halal butchers in Walsall, among other incidents.
David Cameron condemned the attacks in Parliament, saying Britain “would not stand” for the abuse and must work to stamp them out.
The reports sparked an intervention from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who said he was concerned about abuse against ethnic minorities and foreign residents.
“Racism and xenophobia are completely, totally and utterly unacceptable in any circumstances,” Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said.
“I urge the UK authorities to act to stop these xenophobic attacks and to ensure that all those suspected of racist and anti-foreigner attacks and abuses are prosecuted.”
Anyone with information on the incident in Manchester is urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.