Muslim doctor 'warned that she might be arrested' after reporting Islamophobic abuse in Romford
PUBLISHED: 11:06 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:32 11 September 2017
A Seven Kings doctor has spoken of her horror after she was told by police a man who hurled Islamophobic abuse at her would likely only receive a warning.
Dr Naila Imran says officers also warned her against pressing charges, as a counter claim could lead to her “being arrested”.
On Thursday the 41-year-old was driving from Brentwood to Seven Kings along A12, when a motorcyclist knocked off her wing mirror as he moved past her at the junction with Pettits Lane, Romford.
He cut through a set of red lights, but she eventually caught up with him at the next traffic lights, and wound down her window to speak to him.
“I said to him ‘you have damaged my car’”, she told the Recorder.
“He didn’t say anything and then suddenly started yelling ‘I’m a Paki, I’m a Muslim terrorist, I should go back to my country’, he wouldn’t stop swearing.”
The mum-of-two, who wears a headscarf, said she became “scared for her life”.
“I pulled up my window, locked the car doors and began to phone the police, and he started just kicking my car while abusing me.”
Eventually the man drove off and Naila managed to write down his number plate.
She said she is now afraid to go out, and the police response has disappointed her.
“They came over on Friday, and said I should have waited at the scene and found witnesses.
“I was terrified after what had happened, I wasn’t thinking about that.”
Naila says despite her noting down the man’s number plate, police said that the most likely thing that would happen was that he would get a warning.
And she claims they warned her against pressing charges, “as if he makes a counter claim against me, I might be arrested”.
Naila said she feels this lets Islamaphobes feel like they can get away with abusing Muslims.
“I have lived here for the last 16 years, I’m a doctor, I’ve educated my daughter and son here, I volunteered at the London Olympics, I help people in the community learn English.
“This is not how I should be treated.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that no further action was being taken.
He said: “Police received an allegation of racial abuse that took place on the A12 Eastern Avenue, Romford at around 3.10pm on Thursday September 7.
“The female victim was driving her car along the A12. As she turned right into North Street, Romford a motorcyclist clipped her wing mirror.
“When the victim stopped next to the motorcycle in traffic and confronted the male rider about clipping her car, she was subjected to racially abusive verbal comments. “The motorcyclist then rode away.
“Having conducted initial enquiries, police have informed the victim that no further action will be taken due to there being insufficient evidence to proceed.”