Chinese students urge each other to stay away from Sheffield following racist attack
The incident is being treated as a hate crime
A 19-year-old Chinese student in Sheffield was assaulted outside Boots on Fargate last week.
The attacker was a woman who allegedly demanded to know if the student was Chinese before hitting her in the face and pulling her to the ground by her hair.
The incident has since gone viral on social media and according to a report from Resonate, Chinese communities are urging each other to stay away from Sheffield.
“A few people are saying we shouldn’t be going to Sheffield. They don’t know it’s one of the best places to study, live and work”, a Chinese student wrote in an online chat room.
On Facebook, Joseph Li-Ying has also encouraged Chinese students to leave the city following the attack.
The attacker was intercepted by a brave passer-by as she allegedly picked up a bottle to carry on the attack.
The 19-year-old was treated in hospital for eye injuries and the incident is being dealt with as a hate crime by South Yorkshire Police.
Jerry Cheung, the head of the Chinese community in Sheffield, said: “This is unacceptable in a civilised society. In the last year I’ve heard of numerous attacks, not just on Chinese students but Asians.
“We need the people who run the city to say it won’t be tolerated. I spoke to the victim and she doesn’t understand what happened or why. It was very disturbing for her. Because of lockdown a lot of students are stressed anyway.
“I also emailed the universities and they really want to do something about this. They offer good support but I want to work on prevention.
“I would like to see a co-ordinated effort to develop a plan involving the council, universities, students and police.”
It has been reported that the only reason the Sheffield student had left the house that day was due to encouragement from her family after spending so much time inside during lockdown.
Sgt Phil Mackey of Snig Hill Police Station has assured the victim that the incident “is being taken very seriously.”
He said: “Please be assured that this incident is being treated as a hate crime and very seriously. We have now obtained the victim’s statements with the support of an interpreter and are progressing this matter to the CPS for review”, Sgt Mackey said.
“All hate crime incidents have to be referred to the CPS prior to any charges to ensure that the strongest case possible is built from an early stage and to try and reduce and potential delays further down the line. PC Argyle is prioritising this case over her other workload due to the severity of the incident.”
Featured image credit: Google Maps.