South Scotland

Police hunt gang who carried out 'hate crime' in Hawick

Instanbul takeway, Hawick Image copyright Google

Police are hunting for a gang of men who racially abused and assaulted another man in the Scottish Borders.

Officers said the 35-year-old victim, who was of Eastern European origin, was the victim of a hate crime.

He was targeted by about nine men outside the Instanbul Takeaway in North Bridge Street, Hawick, at 02:00 on Sunday. He was not injured.

PC Ryan Anderson said: "This was an extremely cowardly attack that caused significant distress to the victim."

The group made racially-motivated comments to the man before he tried to get away from them by walking north along North Bridge Street.

But they pursued him and confronted him at the junction with Dovecote Street.

'Unprovoked assault'

He was punched in the head before his attackers ran off.

PC Anderson appealed for information to witnesses to the attack.

He said: "The suspects carried out an unprovoked assault and we are extremely keen to hear from anyone who was in the area of North Bridge Street in the early hours of Sunday and who may have seen these men.

"Likewise, anyone who may have noticed this group in the area earlier in the evening is also asked to come forward.

"Police Scotland treats all reports of hate crime extremely seriously and takes a zero tolerance approach towards anyone involved in this unacceptable behaviour.

"If you want to report a hate crime then please contact police immediately."

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