POLICE Officers are appealing for witnesses in connection with an incident during which a woman was verbally abused in Grays, on Sunday, July 2.
The victim, who is in her 40s, was walking along Bradleigh Avenue, at around 5.15pm, when she was approached by two men.
One man asked her for the time and while she looked at her phone, it is believed he attempted to grab the victim’s hand.
The victim was intimidated and walked away to seek help from residents, who provided her with assistance.
Following this, the two men made verbal threats against her from across the street, which were racially aggravated, and also made threats to harm her. They then left the scene.
Chief Inspector Richard Baxter, District Commander for Thurrock, said: “This was an isolated incident and the conduct of these men is being investigated as a hate crime. The threats they made against this victim were racially or religiously motivated. This will not be tolerated on the streets of our county.”
The suspect who asked the victim for the time, was described as white, in his early 20s, 6ft tall, and of slim build. He had medium brown hair which was cut short.
The other man was described also described as white and in his early 20s, 6ft tall and of medium build. He was wearing a grey hoody and had ginger facial stubble. He was riding a mountain bike.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
There are also Hate Incident Reporting Centres across Essex where victims or witnesses can report crimes to specially trained hate crime ambassadors. To find your nearest centre, visit www.essex.police.uk/advice/hate-crime.