London: Man arrested over homophobic bleach attacks

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A man has been arrested in connection with two homophobic attacks, where bleach was used, in south London.

The 31-year-old was arrested in Kent on suspicion of committing grievous bodily harm and is being held at a south London police station.

The attacks took place outside Lightbox club in South Lambeth Place at around 4am on Sunday 8 June.

In the first incident, a substance, thought to be bleach, was sprayed at two men following a verbal exchange between them and a group outside the venue.

A short time later, police were made aware of a third man who had also been sprayed in the face with a substance in the vicinity of the club.

Police said all three men were treated at hospital, but their injuries are not believed to be serious.

In a statement, Orange Nation, the company that owns the Lightbox venue in Vauxhall, said: “This was an isolated incident and we have been speaking to police since it occurred, including supplying them with our CCTV footage of the local Vauxhall area.

“The police have confirmed there is no direct link with the venue or our customers.

“Our doors were closed at the time of the incident, with no gay events at the Lightbox that morning.

“Our extensive commitment with the council and Vauxhall One to provide a safe environment for everyone continues.

“Our thoughts go out to the victims of this awful attack and we wish them a speedy recovery.”

Earlier today, Chief Superintendent Richard Wood, Lambeth Borough Commander, issued a statement of reassurance to the capital’s LGBT community.

He said: “Lambeth police understand that although unusual the assaults in Vauxhall may leave some communities in particular the LGBT community anxious and concerned however we will together with our partners to protect and serve this community. The Metropolitan Police Service will take a robust approach to those who commit crimes motivated by any form of hate or discrimination”.

The Met added: “We would encourage anyone who has been a victim or is in fear of crime to contact the Police via 101 or to speak to Victim Support or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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