Police are seeking a large gang of "Asian" youths, including at least one female, who subjected three teenage boys to a humiliating ordeal under the threat of violence during a 30 minute train ride, before robbing them.
Here is the full story and the pictures of those the British Transport Police are currently seeking to "help them with their enquiries," as we say in this increasingly unfortunate part of the world:
RAILWAY police are hunting a gang of thugs who told three teenagers: “Lick our boots” during a 30-minute terror journey into Birmingham.
Officers said the boys – two 16-year-olds and another aged 17 – were also threatened with violence and suffered a “humiliating and degrading” ordeal at the hands of the gang.
British Transport Police today released CCTV images of eight people, including a girl, they want to trace in connection with the incident.
It happened when the louts boarded the New Street-bound train at Blake Street Station, near Sutton Coldfield.
Det Con Tim Friend, from British Transport Police, described the ordeal as “degrading bullying” and appealed for help to find the culprits.
“A group of between eight and ten Asian males and females bullied the lads for the whole of the 30-minute journey,” he said.
“They were told ‘kiss our feet’ and anyone who said no was threatened with violence. It was pretty unpleasant.”
A British Transport Police spokesman said: “We are seeking to identify the individuals pictured who we would like to speak to in connection with a robbery on a train service between Blake Street and New Street stations.
“Three young males were subjected to a protracted ordeal of bullying before having property stolen under threat of further violence.”
The victims were heading into the city for a concert on board a train that left Lichfield City station at 5.50pm on November 9 last year.
Police said the ordeal lasted until the train arrived at New Street.
The frightened lads were eventually robbed of their mobile phones, cash, train tickets and one had a concert ticket stolen.
Their assailants were seen giggling and joking with each other as they left the train.
The victims raised the alarm shortly after the train arrived in Birmingham, telling police the torment left them feeling “humiliated and degraded”.
Police checked CCTV footage from the station and Pallasades shopping centre to catch the culprits.
Detectives are now appealing to Birmingham Mail readers to help identify a group of people they want to speak to in connection with the incident after their own investigations drew a blank.
* Anyone who recognises those in the images or who has any information about the incident should contact Det Con Tim Friend on 0121 654 2244 or 0800 405040.
Of course, the police don't speculate why the gang would wish to humiliate and degrade their victims before robbing them - and I don't expect too many searching questions will be asked if they're caught.
Strangely, news of this crime has yet to reach the national media outlets, too - I wonder why that could be?