A leading member of a Dundee mosque has claimed the number of racial attacks in the city is dropping just days after a schoolgirl was abused at a busy bus stop.
Police have launched an investigation into the incident on Balgowan Avenue in Kirkton where the girl was hit by a stone and then racially abused until she boarded a bus.
But Saghir Ahmed, 42, a committee member at Dundee Central Mosque, said the attack, which was directed towards the girl by a group of four to five boys of a similar age, was unusual for the area nowadays.
He said: “I heard about this on the radio and was quite surprised as racism these days is actually quite rare.
“I’ve been living here for 35 years now so I’ve seen racial attacks before, and it used to be quite common in Dundee, but not now. Maybe if you went back a decade ago you would hear of more cases like this, but things have changed nowadays.
“Even then it was more verbal abuse than anything else I’ve never seen physical violence due to racism.”
Mr Ahmed also claimed that the children may have been too young to realise the severity of what they were saying.
He said: “They were children and they might not yet realise how offensive they were being.
“Certainly when I was growing up in the 80s and early 90s there was sometimes verbal abuse.
“But I must stress it is unusual among adults for racial abuse.”
Police say the boys who shouted the abuse at about 8.25am on Friday were all wearing school uniform and one had blond hair. A girl of a similar age is thought to have witnessed the incident and confronted them about their behaviour.
Councillor Ian Borthwick, who represents the Strathmartine ward, said the attack showed the offenders’ parents weren’t giving them the ‘right guidance’.
He said: “Because it’s children that are involved, it makes this more alarming than usual, but I think that means the problem lies with the parents of these kids they’re obviously not getting the right guidance.”
Last year there were 141 racist incidents in Dundee, down 13 from the previous year.
Since 2004-5 the number of racial attacks in the city has dropped by 35%, down from 217.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman confirmed that officers were still investigating the incident.
She added: “In appealing for witnesses to come forward, officers are reminding parents that they have a responsibility to ensure that their children do not act in a manner that is likely to cause alarm or upset others.”