Schoolgirl has hijab 'yanked' off in attack at Plymouth bus stop

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The schoolgirl had been waiting for a bus at the time of the incident in Embankment Road. Credit: Google

A young schoolgirl has been targeted in an unprovoked and racially-aggravated attack in Plymouth.

The 16-year-old was waiting for a bus in Embankment Road, next to Astor Playing Field in Prince Rock, at around 9.20am on Friday 27 May when the incident happened.

She was on her way to school to an exam but was too distressed to sit it.

Police say a woman - believed to be aged 18 or 19 - was loudly arguing on her mobile phone a few seats away from the victim just before the incident.

The suspect tried to punch the schoolgirl but missed before pulling at her hijab, yanking it from her head.

A member of the public approached the frightened schoolgirl and accompanied her on the bus to make sure she was safely on her way to school.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: "We believe that there was at least one other person at the bus stop who witnessed the incident. Another member of the public saw that she was upset and went on the bus with her to make sure that she got to school safely.

"This was an unprovoked attack on a young female student on her way to school. The motive for the assault is unknown but is considered to be racially or religiously aggravated because the female was wearing the hijab.

"The hijab is worn by some Muslim girls and women to maintain their modesty and privacy from unrelated males. It would have been very upsetting for her as she would have felt that her privacy was being violated in such a public place."

Police have said they are keen to hear from anyone who may have been witness to the incident.