The deputy prime minister of Poland today expressed his sorrow at the death of a factory worker from the country who was killed in Harlow in a suspected race-hate attack.
Arkadiusz Jozwik, 40, known as Arek, was attacked by a teenage gang outside a pizza restaurant on Saturday night after apparently being overheard speaking in Polish.
The meat factory worker, who moved to England in 2012, died on Monday from head injuries.
Poland’s deputy PM Mateusz Morawiecki, who is on a visit to the UK, today said: “This was a very sad day and sad event. I know one line of the investigation by the police was that it might have been a hate crime, it remains to be seen what were the reasons.”
He told BBC radio: “I hope it will never happen again, but yes, this will pose a question mark in many families, Polish families, in Great Britain.”
Last night more than 200 people attended a candlelight vigil at the scene of the attack to show solidarity with Harlow’s Polish community. Poland’s ambassador to the UK, Arkady Rzegocki, visited the town earlier yesterday to lay floral tributes and to visit Mr Jozwik’s family.
Essex police said while six teenagers “who were perhaps involved in that melee” had been arrested, officers believed there may have been 12 to 13 people in the incident. They stressed there was no evidence to suggest a hate crime but it could not be ruled out.
Five 15-year-old boys and a 16-year-old arrested on suspicion of murder have been released on police bail until October 7.