Polish ministers to visit UK after attacks on Poles in Harlow

Gathering in Harlow Image copyright BBC/Richard Smith
Image caption Hundreds of Poles from across England joined Harlow's residents for a vigil commemorating Arkadiusz Jozwik just hours before the two Polish men were attacked near a pub

Three Polish ministers are set to make an urgent visit to the UK following attacks on Polish men.

Two Poles were attacked on Sunday, just hours after a march and vigil to honour Arek Jozwik, who died after an attack in the same town of Harlow, Essex.

Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Rafal Sobczak said the country's foreign, justice and interior ministers would be flying into London.

A specific date for the visit, however, has not yet been set.

Police said the attack on the two Poles was a "potential hate crime" and one victim suffered a broken nose, the other a cut to his head.

Head injuries

Four or five men outside the William Aylmer pub in Kitson Way, Harlow, attacked the pair on Sunday morning, officers said.

The latest violence followed an attack in Harlow on 27 August on Arkadiusz (Arek) Jozwik, 39, who suffered head injuries and later died on Monday.

Six teenagers were arrested on suspicion of killing Mr Jozwik.

Supt Trevor Roe said the "vicious and horrible attack" in Kitson Way was not being linked to the fatal attack on Mr Jozwik in the town last weekend.

The assault happened at 03:35 BST, less than 12 hours after hundreds of people - including Poles from across the UK - gathered in the town for a silent march to remember Mr Jozwik.

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Media captionSupt Trevor Roe, of Essex Police, appeals for witnesses after the attack
Image copyright Google
Image caption The two men were attacked by a group outside The William Aylmer public house in Harlow

Both victims, who are in their 30s, were treated at the town's Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Supt Roe said: "Although we are considering this matter as a potential hate crime, it is not being linked with the attack (on Mr Jozwik) at The Stow shopping centre last weekend.

"I want to reassure the public and the community in Harlow we are treating this very seriously and do not tolerate assaults of any kind.

"There will be an increased number of visible policing patrols in Harlow to both reassure and protect the community.

"Harlow is a strong and resilient community but I understand the concerns that recent events will cause."

Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro and Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak are the three ministers planning to visit the UK.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo also wants to speak directly to PM Theresa May about the recent attacks, Mr Sobczak said.

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