City assaults treated as 'crimes of hate'

POLICE investigating two "despicable" assaults on disabled people in Edinburgh say they are treating them as aggravated "hate crimes".

A 44-year-old man was trying to pass two teenagers in Oxgangs when they punched him repeatedly and robbed him.

The victim was said to be shaken by his ordeal, which happened in Oxgangs Drive at 9:40am on Saturday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Lothian and Borders Police said they want to speak to two cyclists who were in the area and an elderly woman who was walking in Oxgangs Drive. The teenagers ran off in the direction of Firhill Drive.

In a separate attack, a woman with ME and chronic arthritis was robbed by a teenager in daylight on Sunday. The 51-year-old was walking in Bonnington Grove at 1:20pm when the boy approached her. He grabbed her purse and ran off towards Pitt Street.

The police spokesman said: "The last few days have seen two separate incidents within Edinburgh whereby the victim has been a vulnerable member of the community, and as such the incidents have been rightly condemned as despicable and cowardly."

He pointed to new legislation which makes an attack on somebody because of their disability an "aggravated" crime.

He said: "Where malice or ill- will is shown towards a person because of a disability, this is treated as an aggravation and as such will be investigated robustly and in the same way as any other hate crime."