Essex Muslim student murder, statements from local MP and PCC
Categories: Latest News
Thursday June 19 2014
Following news reports yesterday of the murder of a female Muslim student in Colchester and the possibility of it being a religiously aggravated murder, MEnD have received statements from the local MP, Sir Bob Russell, and Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, Nick Alston. Both have been in contact with the local Muslim community to offer sympathy and support. We have copied their statements below.
Sir Bob Russell – MP for Colchester:
“I am deeply concerned at what appears to be a racial and possibly religious aspect to what occurred.
Clearly a call for calm is required. Any murder is awful. The prospect that this one had other aspects to it is very worrying.
Colchester has a proud record of racial and religious harmony. The University¹s rich mixture of nationalities, with students drawn from some 130 different countries, provides further evidence of the tolerance which largely prevails in our town.
Although, sadly, over the years there have been some incidents, we have not had anything as bad as this.”
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex:
“I am greatly saddened at the murder of a young Saudi Arabian student, Nahid Almanea, in Colchester on June 17. This is a distressing and brutal crime, and my thoughts and sympathy are with the woman’s family, friends and everyone who knew and loved her.
As Police and Crime Commissioner, my role is to ensure that Essex Police is doing the very best job possible. I am in close and regular contact with Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh, and I know that the force has a highly professional and skilled team of detectives, led by Det Supt Tracy Hawkings, investigating this dreadful crime. Essex Police, Colchester Borough Council and partner agencies are also working closely together to reassure everyone living, working and studying in Colchester and allay their understandable concerns.
Det Supt Hawkings has stated: “There are some immediate similarities between this murder and that of James Attfield but there are also a large number of differences as well. There is no current known motive for this attack and we are keeping an open mind and exploring all possible avenues of investigation.
“We are also conscious that the dress of the victim will have identified her as likely being a Muslim and this is one of the main lines of the investigation but again there is no firm evidence at this time that she was targeted because of her religion.”
My thoughts are with the family of Nahid Almanea at this time. I know that everyone in Colchester will come together, and remain strong and united in ensuring that the town and the district remains safe and welcoming to all.
I urge everyone in the community who has any information, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is, to share that information with police.
Anyone with any information that could assist the enquiry is asked to contact the Major Investigation Team on 01245 282103, Essex Police on 101 or they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”