Northumbria Police issued cautions to PT and Northumbria student in racist videos
“Both individuals apologised for their behaviour and were remorseful over the impact of their actions”
Following the circulation of the racist videos filmed by a Northumbria law student, both Northumbria University and John Lewis & Partners have launched formal investigations with the police.
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police told The Tab Newcastle: “On Tuesday the two people who featured in the video attended the police station and were interviewed by detectives.”
“Both individuals apologised for their behaviour and were remorseful over the impact of their actions, they have both been issued police cautions.”
“The type of language used in the video is completely unacceptable and we have made that clear to the two individuals.”
“Whenever we are made aware of discrimination of this nature then will not hesitate to take action. We would encourage anyone who becomes aware of this type of behaviour contacts police and we will treat it as a hate crime.”
Abby Wiffen, the digital marketing coordinator at Northumbria Student’s Union published a statement regarding the incident on the Union’s website: “While we commend the University in its swift action to investigate, the Union wishes to make clear our view that it is unacceptable for this behaviour to be trivialised as ‘banter’ or a ‘joke’ or to be regarded as an isolated incident.”
“Too often excuses are made for perpetrators of racist, sexist and other abuse, while the people who receive that abuse must live with the consequences day in and day out and we will be making our view clear to the University and look to it to treat the matter appropriately.”
The Tab Newcastle spoke to a Northumbria graduate, Jenn Jameson, who took action by reporting Melis Altinors and Richard Heslop to their respective Universities and work places. Jenn said: “It shocks me that they [Altinors and Heslop] made no attempt at an apology when they were confronted about the issue, although I don’t know if it would hold much value.”
“I hope in me reaching out to John Lewis and Northumbria University, where I too studied, and others at the gym that Heslop worked at, they will realise that this isn’t banter. We’re not laughing and this isn’t something they should be able to shrug off as easily as I imagine they thought.”
“Like many others, I posted an Instagram on June 2nd (Blackout Tuesday) in solidarity with the BLM movement. At that time I said that I feel that the responsibility to make change is everyone’s and that I would speak up; I really meant it.”
Melis Altinors has been contacted for comment.