Friday, July 26, 2013
Stones have been thrown at a coach carrying Jewish boys before they were egged in a sickening attack in Sheerness.
Witnesses saw around seven teenage boys and girls hurling missiles at the vehicle and shouting "go back to where you came from".
Moments later, the group of 10 to 14-year-olds were set upon again with eggs.
Now a coach firm is warning ethnic minority groups not to visit the Isle of Sheppey in the wake of the attack.
The Hasidic Jews, from London, were visiting the town to go to the beach after a trip to Diggerland in Strood on Tuesday afternoon.
A window on the coach was smashed as it turned into High Street from Millennium Way. Luckily, no one was hurt.
One person - who saw the incident, but did not want to be named for fear of repercussions - said: "They were saying '**** you - go back to where you came from'.
"I couldn't believe some of the things they were saying."
The vehicle then moved to the car park in nearby Trinity Road, where witnesses said the group of 10 to 14-year-olds from London were set upon again with eggs.
West's Coaches Limited, which is based in South Woodford, London, had to send a replacement service to pick up the passengers and take them back home.
Director Nick Brown said his business is £1,000 out of pocket to pay for a new window and having to divert another driver from the capital.
He said: "The people on the coach were pretty shaken up. In the future we will have to warn ethnic minorities about bringing them to Sheppey."
He added abuse was also aimed at the driver, who is of Indian descent.
Heather Thomas-Pugh, chairman of Sheppey Tourism Alliance, said: "We are extremely disappointed that this sort of behaviour has happened on our island.
"When people take the time and trouble to come and visit us, they should expect Islanders to provide a warm welcome.
"It is incidents like this, from a minority, that prevent the Isle of Sheppey being seen in the correct light."
A Kent Police spokesman confirmed officers were called to reports of criminal damage at just before 1.50pm. It is not currently known if it is being investigated as a hate crime.
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