police line
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The two girls remain in custody after being arrested in Southampton.
Two teenage girls allegedly assaulted a group of Chinese people in a suspected coronavirus-linked incident.

The pair, aged 14 and 15, are reported to have shouted abuse at the four people, who were wearing medical face masks, before confronting them.

The alleged incident, which occurred on March 17 in Vincent's Walk, Southampton, is believed to have been racially aggravated and linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hampshire constabulary arrested the girls on suspicion of affray. They remain in custody.

The victims, three men and one woman, were all aged in their early 20s and did not suffer any lasting physical injuries.

"Any crime perpetuated through ignorance, prejudice or hate is unacceptable," a spokesperson for the force said.

"We are working with our partners and the local Chinese communities and we would encourage everyone to report incidents to us either by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency."

Anyone who has information that might help the investigation into this incident should call 101 and quote 44200101024.