A car was deliberately driven into a group of people leaving a Muslim community centre in a suspected ‘race hate’ attack.
Three people were taken to hospital after the vehicle ploughed into the crowd in the early hours of this morning (WED) in Cricklewood, north west London.
Police say words and comments ‘of an Islamophobic nature’ were made by the occupants of the car before they sped away from the centre, hitting three people.
Security at the community centre had been informed the occupants of the vehicle, believed to be three men and a woman in their mid-twenties, were drinking and using drugs in the private car park at 12.20am.
They were asked to leave, but police say the car was driven up to the entrance of the centre and the occupants confronted Muslims leaving.
The car sustained ‘minor damage’ during the argument and sped away from the centre, hitting three pedestrians on the pavement.
Two men in their 20s were taken to hospital with minor injuries, but a man in his 50s remains in hospital and is being treated for a serious leg injury. Another pedestrian did not need to be taken to hospital.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called at 12.35am to reports of a car in collision with a number of pedestrians on Oxgate Lane.
“Two people were taken to hospital for treatment; two of those injured are males in their twenties. Their injuries are minor. One did not require hospital treatment.
“A man in his fifties remains in hospital and is being treated for a serious leg injury.
“The car involved failed to stop at the scene and enquiries are underway to trace the driver and occupants.
“Police have established that at approximately at 12.20am security at the community centre were informed of occupants in a car behaving anti-socially, drinking and allegedly using drugs.
“The car then drove near the centre and the occupants were involved in a confrontation with a large group of people visiting the centre.
“Words were exchanged and comments of an Islamophobic nature were allegedly made by the group in the car.
“The car then reportedly sustained minor damage by some of those outside the centre. It proceeded to make off at speed colliding with three individuals as it left.
“No arrests have been made.”
DS Kelly Schonhage, of Brent CID said: “We are treating this incident very seriously and a number of enquiries are underway to trace the car and those involved.
“Enquiries into the full circumstances of the collision are ongoing.
“If you were there at the time and have information I would urge you to contact police with information.
“Extra neighbourhood police patrols have been stepped up in the area and officers will be on hand to speak with those in the local community.”