26 June 2024 15:00 Appeal for witnesses after Pride flags vandalised in Newham Detectives investigating criminal damage to three Pride flags – which is being treated as hate crimes – are appealing for information

Detectives are appealing for information after several Pride flags were vandalised in two homophobic attacks in north east London.

Officers are treating the two homophobic hate crimes in Forest Gate, Newham, as linked.

Police were called early in the morning of Sunday, 23 June in relation to a large painted Pride flag on the pavement outside Forest Gate Railway Station, in Woodgrange Road, E7, being vandalised.

A further report was made on the morning of Wednesday, 26 June regarding criminal damage to two other flags at the same location.

All three flags were damaged with red paint.

Detective Inspector James Rush, from the North East Area’s Public Protection Unit, said: “We recognise that these incidents have caused considerable concern and upset in the local area and among the local LGBTQ+ community, especially as it has happened during Pride Month and only days before London Pride.

“We share that concern and upset and understand how intimidating this sort of offence can be, which is why we remain committed to rooting out hate crime offenders and preventing further incidents.

“I would like to reassure the community that we are taking these offences very seriously and we are carrying out a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice. This type of offending will not be tolerated.

“We are also aware of previous allegations of homophobic criminal damage at the same location, including in early March, and as part of our investigation we will be exploring whether this incident is also linked.”

DI Rush is encouraging anyone with information to come forward. He added: “I would urge anyone who has any information about who is responsible, or saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Saturday night into Sunday morning, or Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, to get in touch. If you were driving in the area at the time and have dash cam footage, please also contact us.”

No arrests have been made at this early stage of the investigation and enquiries continue.

Anyone with information can contact police by calling 101 or visiting, quoting reference 2433/23Jun.

Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.