NEWS
08/03/2018 10:32 GMT | Updated 09/03/2018 08:35 GMT

Nottingham Trent University Hate Crime: Three Teenagers Released Under Investigation

Police are still investigating.

Three people interviewed in connection with a hate crime at Nottingham Trent University student have been released under investigation, police said.

Two 18-year-old men were arrested in connection with a video which captured racist abuse being chanted outside the room of a black student.

An 18-year-old woman was interviewed in connection with the incident.

All three have been released under investigation while police conduct further enquiries. Officers said the incident is being treated a a hate crime.

Rufaro Chisango posted the clip to Twitter on Wednesday evening, saying: “I’m fuming, the way people in the same uni halls as me are chanting ‘we hate the blacks’ outside my bedroom door.

“Words cannot describe how sad this makes me feel, in this 2018 people think this is still acceptable.”

Twitter

In a statement on Thursday, Nottinghamshire Police said: “We are continuing our investigation and will continue speaking to witnesses over the coming days and working with the university.

“We are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen, heard or witnessed the incident.

In the video, at least two unseen men can be heard also chanting: “Sign the Brexit papers.” 

Jasmin Gray/HuffPost UK
Rufaro Chisango recorded the clip at Nottingham Trent University's Sandby Halls of Residence, according to the BBC

The clip has been retweeted more than 15,000 times, with Chisango adding: “I’m the only black person on my floor and they were chanting this outside my door so don’t be surprised as to why I didn’t leave my room.”

The incident happened on Monday. Chisango said she informed the halls of residence reception but they had not replied to her by Wednesday evening, prompting her to post the video. 

“I told the reception and they said this would be dealt with Tuesday morning, they took my details and said they would inform me… it’s Wednesday night and they haven’t.”

Twitter
Rufaro Chisango said the incident left her 'sad'
Twitter
Twitter

In a statement confirming the suspected perpetrators had been suspended pending a full investigation, the university said: “This kind of vile behaviour will not be tolerated. We have contacted the student who made the complaint and are providing support to her and others affected. And we will be liaising with the police about this incident.”

The statement added: “We value being a diverse global community with staff and students from across the world.

“We are also working with our accommodation partner to understand why the University was only alerted to this on Wednesday evening after this was reported to them in the very early hours of Tuesday.”

Rosie, a first year psychology student who lives in Sandby Hall, said she was “shocked” the incident had happened in her halls of residence.

“It’s disgraceful, it’s absolutely shocking anyone would say that kind of thing in this day and age,” she told HuffPost UK outside the accomodation block,

“Nottingham Trent is a really diverse and it seems like such a nice, safe place. Obviously not.”

Commenting on the time it took the halls of residence to pass the matter on to university officials, she continued: “Things like this should be reported to the university straight away, but that’s obviously not always what happens.”

Labour MP David Lammy joined the calls for action, tweeting Rufaro: “Please contact the police and your member of parliament and cc me in. All my love and solidarity.”

Speaking to the BBC, Chisango said the abuse had a “big impact” on her.

“I just want the appropriate action to be taking place. Obviously it’s racial abuse. It should not be tolerated at all.”

Mary Okpo of Nottingham Trent’s African Caribbean Society, told HuffPost she was “shocked, but not surprised” when she first saw the video circulating online.

“This kind of occurrence is not at all common at this university,” the second year law student said. “But it’s what you come to expect in this day and age.”

Following the arrests, the university said it was cooperating fully with the police and admitted the delays in dealing with the incident were “unacceptable”. 

“We will work with our accommodation partner to review our processes to ensure this never happens again,” a spokesman added via Twitter.